Phil Mickelson comes in to the 2011 Masters Tournament as the favorite and with good reason. Mickelson is a three winner at Augusta, including last year. He has finished in the top 13 in 10 of his 19 Masters appearances. He's also coming off a great performance last week in Houston, where he won the Shell Houston Open.
Mickelson says the win in Houston last week reminds him of the leadup to the 2006 Masters, which was the second time he won the tournament.
"It was a very -- well, it was a fun win, obviously. I played very well and it was a big confidence booster I would say, because I felt like that golf was in me this year, but I haven't been getting it out. I haven't had the same type of mental focus throughout the round that I expect. And I was able to do it very effectively on the weekend."
For years, Augusta had been known as Tiger Wood's course. Year in and year out he would be considered the favorite to win the Masters, but this year Vegas finally installed Phil as the favorite. He was asked whether he felt he had taken over the role as the guy to beat at Augusta?
"I don't know. I mean, I certainly enjoy this place and have enjoyed it and have felt great on this golf course even before I won here. I felt like it was a course I could play well on, and really enjoy playing it every year. It's something that I've just come to love with all my heart and appreciate how great this place is, how special this place is to the game of golf."
Finally, no discussion of Mickelson at the Masters would be complete with mentioning that great moment at the end last year when he embraced his wife less than a year after learning that both she and his mother had been diagnosed with breast cancer.
"That was a really special event for me, a special week for me and Amy and the family. At the time, we were still right in the thick of a lot of things, and it was a really big emotional boost for us. And things have been going so much better. Like we are in such a better place now that we are just really excited and appreciative."
Mickelson is scheduled to tee off at 1:48 p.m. in the second to last group of the day with Geoff Ogilvy, Peter Uihlein.