Mickelson's Back Injury May Keep Him Out of Phoenix Open
By Torleif Sorenson on 1/28/14
While hitting his opening tee-shot last Thursday at the Farmers Insurance Open, Phil Mickelson very visibly tweaked his back. After Friday's round, he withdrew from the event. Since then, Mickelson has flown to Georgia to consult with back specialist Tom Boers, who told the golfer than his zygapophysial joints ("facet joints") had locked up.
In a statement, Mickelson said the following afterward: "Tom restored my mobility, but I still have inflammation that will take a week or two to subside."
Yet, Mickelson plans to fly to Arizona on Wednesday to tee it up at the Phoenix Open on Thursday:
"If it was any other tournament I'd skip it. But I'm defending, it's my second hometown, and I love the event. I'll have a light practice session and if it goes well, I may try to play."However, Mickelson has already withdrawn from the Wednesday pro-am and will not be available to the media prior to Thursday's opening round.
With Lefty aiming squarely toward the U.S. Open at Pinehurst in June and attempt to capture the one major championship that has eluded him six times, he is having to temper his desire to play:
"I'm itching to play, but I have to look at the big picture. I have a number of tournaments I want to play and play well this year, including the majors, so I have to be realistic about how I feel in the short term."In this writer's opinion, Mickelson is quite capable of winning the U.S. Open. But with his back acting up and his psoriatic arthritis serving as a another fly in the ointment, the question seems to be this: Will his body hold up well enough this year to give him a chance to capture that elusive Open?
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Image via Flickr, Tour Pro Golf Clubs
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