Mickelson heads to Riviera on a roll

13 February 2018 04:08:00 EST

After recording back-to-back top-five finishes for the first time since 2013, Phil Mickelson is full of confidence heading to this week's Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club in California.

The left-hander has moved up to 18th in the FedEx Cup points race in the last fortnight after posting tied fifth in the Waste Management Phoenix Open in Arizona and following that up with tied second in last week's AT & T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

Next up, Mickelson bids for victory on the famed Riviera course in Los Angeles, a venue where he's lifted the trophy twice and also finished runner-up on two occasions.

The four-time major winner has only played this event once in the last four years due to family commitments but feels it gives him a great chance to end a winless streak on the PGA Tour that stretches back to the 2013 Open Championship.

"Riviera is a golf course that I played very well in the past, I like a lot, I know a lot of the nuances in it," said the 47-year-old.

"It's a great ball-striker's golf course. And if you drive it well there, the second shot is where Riviera thrives and challenges you.

"I'm driving it as well as I have in a long time and if I continue to strike it the way I have, it's going to be another good week. And I can't wait to get started.

"It's a perfect course for those that are striking it well."

Mickelson believes his ability to still smash the ball a long way off the tee is one of the keys to his recent strong play.

He added: "I've really had to increase speed to hang with a lot of the younger guys. And fortunately I've been able to increase my club head speed about four miles an hour.

"So although I'm not going to be with the longest guys out here, I'm in the top third again and I feel like I can compete from there."

Mickelson is 22/1 to win the Genesis Open, with Dustin Johnson 9/2, Jordan Spieth 12/1, Rory McIlroy 12/1 and Justin Thomas 16/1.

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