Mickelson expects open field at Masters

Phil Mickelson expects soft greens to open up the field at this year’s Masters, with rain playing havoc with Augusta National’s notoriously fast and tricky greens.

The three-time champion believes players will attack the course more than in previous years, which could lead to more birdies and lower scores.

“It seems that some of the planning I have made may go by the wayside. As soft as the golf course is, you can fire at a lot of the pins. The greens are soft,” said Mickelson.

“I don’t want to say they are slow, but it’s just not the same Augusta. It’s wet around the greens, and there’s no fear of the course. You’ve got to attack it this week.”

The nature of the course this time around could bring the less experienced players into play and lead to a crowded leaderboard, according to the 41-year-old.

Mickelson would join Tiger Woods and Arnold Palmer as a four-time winner of the tournament, should he claim the Green Jacket on Sunday.

The left-hander is looking forward to what he described as his “favourite week of the year”.

“Every time this week came around I was excited to get my game geared up, to try and build off of that first win already knowing that I’m going to be a part of this tournament every year,” added Mickelson.

Mickelson will be in the final group when the Masters begins on Thursday. He will play alongside compatriot Hunter Mahan and Swede Peter Hanson, teeing off at 1.53pm (6.53pm BST).

While the American conceded the younger players will have their say this week, a sentiment shared by golf betting pundits and golf Major bets,  he will be keen to stamp his authority and experience on the tournament during the opening round.

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