Phil Mickelson: Lefty in Prime Position to Win Fourth Green Jacket

Maxwell OgdenCorrespondent IIIApril 10, 2013

AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 09:  Phil Mickelson of the United States speaks to the media during a practice round prior to the start of the 2013 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 9, 2013 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
David Cannon/Getty Images

With the 2013 Masters Tournament nearly upon us, the golf world has erupted in anticipation for the season's most prestigious event. With a green jacket on the line, all of the world's elite are in one place to pursue legendary status.

With Masters week nearly upon us, Phil Mickelson is in prime position to win a fourth green jacket.

Mickelson is one of the most decorated golfers of his time, having won three Masters Tournament crowns and one PGA Championship. Left last won the Masters in 2010, when he shot 16-under par to earn a three-stroke victory.

Since then, Lefty has won three PGA Tour events, including the Waste Management Phoenix Open on Feb. 3, 2013.


Revisiting Past Masters

As previously alluded to, Phil Mickelson has won three separate Masters Tournament titles. That includes the 2004, 2006 and 2010 events.

Believe it or not, that's not even the most impressive feat he's achieved.

On top of winning three green jackets, Mickelson has finished in the top 10 in all but two Masters Tournaments since 2000. Furthermore, Lefty has finished in the top five in nine of the past 11 Masters tournaments.

If history is a sign of things to come, Mickelson will be in the running for the crown come the final day of the 2013 Tournament.

Since 2008, Mickelson has finished in the top five in all but one of those tournaments. That includes a win in 2010 and a finish of third in 2012, the most recent outing.

After finishing just two strokes off of the lead in 2012, Mickelson has all of the confidence necessary to conquer Augusta National in 2013.


New Driver

When it comes to this year's Masters, we may be seeing Phil Mickelson playing in a different manner than ever before. As for why, note that Mickelson will be making the transition to a new driver.

According to Farrell Evans of ESPN, Mickelson has combined a driver with a 3-wood.

"The tee shot on 15 is getting down to where I have one or two clubs less, and because it comes off fast, as well as low spin, it's running, which is exactly what I wanted here," said Mickelson, who finished in a tie for third last year.

The past suggests that this move is well-calculated.

With Mickelson's previous success at this course, one is inclined to believe that he has developed an understanding for what is necessary to win. Not only has he won two Masters titles, but he's consistently finished in the top 10.

According to what we already know, this change should benefit a golfer who has as great of a feel for Augusta National as anyone in the world.