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Mental focus, unique club help Mickelson turn back clock


With meditation to help his psychological focus and a unique hybrid 2-wood to form pictures, 50-year-old Phil Mickelson has made himself a menace to win the PGA Championship.

The five-time main winner fired a three-under par 69 in gusting winds at Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course on Friday to take the lead on five-under 139 after 36 holes.

The US left-hander has an opportunity to turn into the oldest champion in main golf historical past, eclipsing American Julius Boros, who was 48 when he received the 1968 PGA Championship.

Mickelson has been pressured to deal with Father Time, most crucially in his psychological sport, having needed to struggle to maintain focus for 72 holes lately.

“I’m working on it. I’m just making more and more progress by trying to elongate my focus,” Mickelson mentioned.

“I might try to play 36, 45 holes in a day and try to focus on each shot so that when I go out and play 18, it doesn’t feel like it’s that much.”

Producing a transparent focus issues as a lot as any stroke, Mickelson mentioned.

“I might try to elongate the time that I end up meditating, but I’m trying to use my mind like a muscle and just expand it because as I’ve gotten older, it has been more difficult for me to maintain a sharp focus, a good visualization and see the shot,” he mentioned.

“Physically I feel like I’m able to perform and hit the shots that I’ve hit throughout my career. I feel like I can do it every bit as well as I have, but I’ve got to have that clear picture and focus.”

Mickelson left himself a number of brief putts and tap-ins because of his hybrid club.

“I’ve been using it a reasonable amount, certainly on holes that I want to keep it down and don’t have a lot of forced carry,” he mentioned.

“It’s a nice club for me to have when I feel a little bit uncomfortable because I can get it on the ground quicker and the miss isn’t too bad.”

Adding to the take a look at is the longest format in main golf historical past at 7,876 yards with an abrupt change from upwind to downwind holes.

Mickelson, ranked a hundred and fifteenth, has needed to be affected person after dangerous holes and keep assured that probabilities for redemption will come.

“I was patient even though things weren’t quite going well at the moment,” he mentioned of his second spherical. “I was able to make an adjustment and ended up making some really good putts. I putted very well.

“I’ve been capable of make some changes and never let a few poor strokes have an effect on the general spherical, which is one thing I have never been doing as properly, actually not in addition to I’ve been doing the final two days. It’s been good to make these changes and be capable to get these strokes back.”

– ‘Having a blast’ –

Mickelson, an 11-time major runner-up, last won a major at the 2013 British Open and last finished in the top 10 at the 2016 British Open, so turning back the clock has been a joy.

“I’m having quite a lot of enjoyable,” he said. “To know I’m enjoying properly heading into the weekend, to be in rivalry, to have a superb alternative, I’m having a blast. I’m excited for the weekend.”

Mickelson has relied upon brother and caddie Tim Mickelson when it comes to coping with Kiawah Island’s devilish winds.

“When we’re enjoying into this wind we’re getting as a lot as 22 to 38 yards of harm relying on the trajectory and so forth,” Phil Mickelson said.

“Making that sort of changes could be very troublesome to do, and he is been doing an outstanding job. We’ve been working very properly collectively as a workforce, so we have been hitting quite a lot of golf equipment pin excessive.”

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