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Phil Mickelson Says Struggling Tiger Woods 'Will Have the Last Laugh'

A Short Game Tip For Tiger Woods (and You)
Top 100 Teacher Brian Manzella gets to the bottom of Tiger's recent chip yips and demonstrates how you can conquer them, too.

SAN DIEGO -- Phil Mickelson isn’t worried about Tiger Woods and his recent short-game woes. Or anything else, really.

Phil is in a good mood. He held court with reporters Wednesday afternoon after the Farmers Insurance Open pro-am.

So let’s just enjoy Phil and his edited remarks…

On Tiger Woods:

“I think Tiger’s going to have the last laugh,” Phil said Wednesday afternoon after he finished the Farmers Insurance Open pro-am. “His short game, historically, is one of the best of all time. His golf game is probably the best of all time. When you haven’t played, your short game is the first thing to feel uncomfortable and the quickest thing to get back. I don’t think he’s going to have any problems, I really don’t.

“We all have had stretches where we feel a little uncomfortable. Usually, it’s just a small tweak. Because it’s such a short swing it’s not a hard thing to fix. I don’t see that lasting more than a week or two.”

On poor chipping:

“It’s happened to me a number of times where I have gone though spells where I had trouble chipping the ball close. But it comes back. It’s not a big concern. It starts out as a technical issue and then it creeps in as a lack of confidence. But once you make the slight technical adjustment, the confidence comes back instantly.”

On Tiger’s concept that the long-game swing needs to sync with the short-game swing:

“In my view, there’s a million ways to swing a golf club. We have guys like Jim Furyk and Adam Scott and they both have tremendous command of their ball flights. And those are two totally different swings. You can swing it a million ways and be effective. But there’s only one way to chip effectively. The leading edge on a 60-degree wedge is coming into the ball first. Everything you do chipping is to get the leading edge down. There are three or four fundamentals that everybody has to do well, no matter who you are, and it has nothing to do with your swing.”

On missing the cut in Phoenix:

“I’m not overly concerned. I had a great off-season. I’m not going to put my stock into a week or two. But this feels totally different than last year. I didn’t feel good about my game last year. I didn’t feel good about how I was hitting it, my speed wasn’t up, it just didn’t feel good.

Now, I feel good. The last piece is, when you haven’t played in a while, it takes a few rounds, a few tournaments to get into the course management aspects. With the exception of the PGA last year, the parts weren’t quite there. I feel like the parts are there but I’ve just got to put them together.”

On the next Ryder Cup captain:

“When you look at who the next captain is going to be, you have to look at the big picture of the course of the next 10 or 20 years. The task force is really looking at setting a game plan so there’s continuity from Ryder Cup to Ryder Cup.

“You have to have the ability to let your ego down and let a system that has worked in the past, that allows us to be more prepared, like the Azinger system in 2008. So Fred Couples is absolutely one of the guys what would fit that bill. There’s a couple other guys who fit that mold, too, and would really provide great leadership.”

Photo:

Phil Mickelson tees off on the 14th hole of the Torrey Pines South Course during the Farmers Insurance Open Pro Am on Wednesday.

Is Phil Mickelson right that Tiger Woods can fix his chipping in “a week or two”? Join the debate in the comments section below.

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