By petedirenzo
Sunday, January 30, 2011

Phil Conservative Phil?Phil Mickelson has never been afraid to take risks on the golf course. In fact it almost seems like Mickelson doesn't know how to play conservative. While everyone was yelling at their TVs for Mickelson to lay up on No. 13 last year at Augusta, Mickelson saw an opening and pulled off one of the most thrilling shots in Masters history.
So that's why it was surprising to hear Mickelson's reasoning behind his good play this week at Torrey Pines. After finishing tied for the lead with Bill Haas on Saturday, Mickelson credited a conservative approach to helping shoot rounds of 67, 69 and 68.
"I'm just playing it much more conservative, because the reward isn't there," Mickelson said. "This course doesn't reward you for taking on any challenge. And my more conservative approach into the greens, albeit boring, has led me to be on top of the leaderboard." Just a Little PatienceBubba Watson and Hunter Mahan are tied for third, one shot behind co-leaders Mickelson and Haas. Watson and Mahan also both eagled the par-5 18th Saturday, proving a big move could be made on the last hole Sunday.
And that's why both players were stressing that patience will be the key to victory on Sunday.
"I've changed my attitude," Watson said on staying patient. "I'm trying to change my attitude and trying to get better."
"You can almost birdie any hole out here because the greens are running so pure," Mahan said. "So you've just got to stay patient and keep swinging." More from Torrey Pines: Scores | Tee times | Photos | Video (Photo: Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

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