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Phil finds focus, energy after meeting with doctor

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NORTON, Mass. – In 2010, Phil Mickelson was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, a chronic, incurable condition that he as been able to treat with medication.

On Friday at the Dell Technologies Championship, Mickelson revealed that another condition, which he declined to discuss, has been impacting his game the last few years.

“After the PGA [Championship], I went and addressed it and met with the doctor that helped me get through some of the arthritis conditions,” said Mickelson following an opening 69 at TPC Boston. “He seemed to have found something. This is the best energy I've had throughout the round and the best focus.”

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Mickelson said the biggest improvement has been with his short game and being able to visualize shots he wants to hit. At the 15th hole, for example, after his approach landed short of the green, he pitched to a foot for a tap-in par.

“It just wasn't getting better. It was getting worse,” said Mickelson, who added that the condition had become more difficult the last six or seven months. “This was something I had never dealt with before, so I felt like it might be a little bit more than just trying to will it away.”

Mickelson has struggled this year on the PGA Tour, with his best stroke-play finish a tie for seventh at the WGC-Mexico Championship. At 58th on the playoff points list he’s in danger of not advancing to the Tour Championship for just the third time in the FedExCup era.

He’s also on the outside of the Presidents Cup bubble at 18th on the points list, although U.S. captain Steve Stricker suggested last week he would make Lefty a pick if he posted a solid finish in the playoffs. The cutoff to qualify for the U.S. team is Monday, and on Tuesday Stricker will announce his picks.