Mickelson: I feel in best ever shape


Three-time Masters winner Phil Mickelson believes he is in the best shape he has ever been in ahead of the 2016 event.

Mickelson took out the 2004, 2006 and 2010 editions and despite turning 46 in 2016, he expects to contend at this year's edition and many more to come.

"Maybe when you hang around the young guys as much as I have, you just feel young," he said.

"I feel like I'm in the best shape I've been in.

"I'm driving better than I have in well over a decade and I'm excited to play golf."

Mickelson said he expects to be able to play at the top for many years to come and hopes to prove to some of the game's younger players that focusing on good technique can lead to less injuries and a longer career.

"You can play for a lifetime and [stay] injury free if you swing the club like Bobby Jones did and like Ernest Jones used to teach where it's a swinging motion rather than a violent movement," he said.

"Young guys continue to get hurt as they create this violent connecting movement.

"The better I play and the more successful I am at an older age the more the message will get through."

Mickelson said his technique had allowed him to maintain his distance and while other players have surpassed him in that aspect of the game, he feels as long as he can continue to hit the ball straight, he will not be at a significant disadvantage.

"I haven't lost any distance. Guys have passed me, but I don't feel like distance is a factor holding me back," Mickelson explained.

"Now that I am driving reasonably straight, there are a lot less wild drives, I can compete a lot easier.

"I'm not trying to find anything or search for anything, I feel like my game is coming along."

He added he was always glad to have a bit of a mental advantage, having already won the green jacket.

"For me, it's a great way to give the other guys grief," Mickelson joked.

"It's a good way to give them a little jab here and there."