Phil Mickelson boasts slimmer frame, pledges ‘good year’

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

A slimmed-down Phil Mickelson said Tuesday that he’s writing off the 2022 season as an “anomaly” and pledged to have a “really good year” in 2023.

Mickelson, 52, made the comments in Saudi Arabia ahead of the Saudi International, part of the Asian Tour, which is Mickelson’s first tournament in three months.

Mickelson finished 34th or worse in five of his seven appearances on the LIV tour in 2022, the first season of the renegade series. He finished in the top 15 just once, leading to a 34th-place finish in the points race.

“I’m embarrassed with how I played last year,” Mickelson said Tuesday. “I’m going to put that behind me and have a really good year.”

Mickelson said he’s down to his college weight, all part of an emphasis on his physical and mental approach to regaining the form that led him to winning the PGA Championship in 2021.

“I have to look at last year as an anomaly and just let it go,” Mickelson said. “I wasn’t ready to play at the start. I wasn’t ready to play during. And this offseason, I’m ready to play. I’ve been playing really well at home, and I’m ready to bring my game back out here and compete. I’m optimistic to see a whole different outlook, a whole different game, a whole different competitiveness.”

Mickelson plans to play in 20 or so events in 2023. In addition to the LIV’s 14 events this season, Mickelson also carries exemptions to play in each of the four majors thanks to his 2021 PGA Championship title.

“I have a whole different energy, whole different excitement,” Mickelson said. “I’ve been rejuvenated. Best shape I’ve been in in a long time. I’m back to my college weight. It allows me to recover faster after I play. I’m changing some of the ways I practice to be more efficient.”

The 2023 LIV season begins Feb. 24-26 at Playa Del Carmen, Mexico.

–Field Level Media

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