PALM HARBOR, Fla. — Phil Mickelson mentioned he’s struggling to maintain his focus on the golf course, resulting in quick spells the place his thoughts goes numb. One such instance got here Friday on the finish of his spherical, and it price him on the Valspar Championship.
Two bogeys during the last three holes led to Mickelson lacking the lower by one shot.
Mickelson opened with a 73, because of dropping three photographs in three holes on his again 9. He rallied Friday with three straight birdies and was one shot contained in the lower line when all of it fell aside on the closing holes at Innisbrook.
From 40 toes simply off the sixteenth inexperienced, he hammered a putt some 8 toes by the opening and missed the subsequent one to take bogey. And on the 18th, he missed his drive nicely to the left into the timber, superior it to some 70 yards and missed an 8-foot par putt that may have stored him round.
His 69 for an even-par 142 led to his third missed lower of the yr.
“I do know what my drawback is. I am not bodily in a position to maintain my focus,” Mickelson mentioned. “As I’ve gotten older, I’ve a tough time focusing. And that is my problem proper now. I am attempting all various things to have the ability to elongate my means to remain targeted, or to refocus.”
Mickelson, who turns 51 in June, has gone greater than two years since his final victory, and now he isn’t even contending. Since his runner-up end within the FedEx St. Jude Invitational 9 months in the past, he has not completed within the high 20.
Mickelson singled out noise within the gallery — the PGA Tour has had restricted spectators for the final two months — and there have been loads of distractions. He needed to ask one spectator to place away a telephone on the 18th gap Thursday, when he made bogey.
On one other gap, a ringing telephone led Mickelson to again away and counsel the fan take the telephone from his pocket, instructing him that the change on the left aspect managed the amount.
“After I get known as off photographs, like cell telephones ringing or individuals yelling or one thing, my bodily means to refocus — to again away after which refocus and so forth — I am bodily not in a position to do it proper now,” Mickelson mentioned. “So I’ve to seek out strategies to have the ability to do this.”
Mickelson is enjoying subsequent week on the Wells Fargo Championship, after which he has the PGA Championship in two weeks, the place he’s exempt for all times as a previous champion.
Within the meantime, Mickelson mentioned he’s “assembly with lots of people” to attempt to clear up his focus issues.
“However I am going by spells of three or 4 holes, like I did Thursday, Friday at Augusta, the place I am going to throw 5, six photographs away in a four-hole stretch and I simply type of go thoughts numb and my means to regain focus has been the most important problem as I’ve gotten older,” he mentioned. “I haven’t got an excellent resolution proper now. However I am engaged on it.”
The Related Press contributed to this report.