Mickelson wary of the grind

08 May 2018 05:31:40 EST

Phil Mickelson is excited about his round one pairing with Tiger Woods in this week's Players' Championship at TPC Sawgrass, but concerned after a tough week at Quail Hollow.

After closing the Wells Fargo Championship with a 69 for tied fifth, his tenth career top-ten finish in the tournament, he admitted he was aware of how tough the challenge had been.

"I do love the place," he said. "But it's a brutally difficult golf course. There's no let-up on it. It was a fight to play well this week."

Now he heads to the PGA Tour headquarters for the circuit's marque event.

"That golf course is very difficult, too," he added. "The concern I have is that, after grinding so hard this week, the energy level isn't up. But conversely, I've got a little bit of momentum from playing well after having not played for three weeks and I'm excited to get in such a big event."

Mickelson won the Players' in 2007, but he hasn't finished in the top ten there since. He hopes that a mid-round improvement on Sunday will help him rectify that.

He said: "It was something in the set-up, I just didn't feel good with the putter. I missed a couple on the first two holes, I just didn't feel good. My brother saw a little something the way I was set up, made some adjustments, and all of a sudden it started to feel better and I made some putts there in the end."

Drawn to play with Tiger Woods and Rickie Fowler in the first two rounds excites the 47-year-old.

"I love it," he said. "We don't get the chance very often and we're going to have a lot of fun."

Mickelson is 33/1 to win the tournament outright and 20/1 to finish the week as the Top American. He is 19/10 to win his first round three-ball, with Fowler 11/8 and Woods 2/1.

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