February 02, 2014
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
- Phil Mickelson will play in The Honda Classic for the first time since 2002. (Greenwood/Getty Images)
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- For the third straight year, Phil Mickelson will miss the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship while his kids are on break from school.
He will also skip the Northern Trust Open, a tournament he has missed just once since 2007.
"(My kids) are at different schools, so that's two different spring breaks the week of L.A. and Match Play," said Mickelson, who will play at next week's AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am before taking two weeks off and returning at The Honda Classic, a tournament he hasn't played since 2002 when he tied for 11th.
Sunday, he failed to break par at TPC Scottsdale for the third time this week, closing with a 71 to finish 3 under for the week.
"My game is not far off, even though the score says that it is," said Mickelson, who a year ago narrowly missed shooting 59 in the opening round here before going on to win. "My irons were what I struggled with this week, but I drove the ball well, short game wasn't bad, putting wasn't bad. I have to go back to work on my iron play."
At one point, there was some question as to whether he would even be able to play at all this week.
Mickelson withdrew after the second round of last week's event at Torrey Pines because of a sore back before flying cross country to see a specialist.
After a quick visit, he returned to Arizona and declared his back "fine." His game was another story.
Mickelson hit just over half his fairways and ranked in the lower third of players to make the cut in greens in regulation.
He also struggled at times with his putter. He took 32 putts on Sunday -- the third time he took at least 30 in a round.