Phil Mickelson Taxes, Experience and Masters Glory Lead Story Ahead of Augusta

Gabe ZaldivarPop Culture Lead WriterApril 11, 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

Phil Mickelson will soon tee off at Augusta and put all previous starts and storylines from the year well behind him. 

Lefty comes in as one of the favorites, and it has everything to do with past success and the experience that proves crucial to the rolling hills and demanding greens of Augusta. 

The 42-year-old has shown flashes of his classic self this season, finishing in the top 10 twice this year out of eight events and ending up third at the WGC Cadillac before missing the cut at Bay Hill. 

If there is one golfer who can be excused for inconsistency, especially with a daunting task like the Masters, it's Mickelson. 

He takes the distinction of three green jackets with him into Thursday, which means he is always a threat, no matter in what form he finds himself. 

The Daily News' Marcus Hayes puts it perfectly: 

Mickelson will start for the 21st time at Augusta National, a course that rewards experienced players. The course favors a lefthanded bomber who can play a cut, who lofts soft irons and wedges and who can putt deliciously. Mickelson's three wins, combined with Bubba Watson's win last year, account for four of the last nine titles.

As noted, both players launch the ball, but with Mickelson's experience and the passion he has for this specific course, you have to like his chances. 

Not that his past success is all that anyone might talk about on the weekend. 

If you are looking for a watershed moment for Lefty in 2013, it would have to be the moment he decided to offer his opinions on high taxes and how it affects him; he would later apologize

It seems many people are suffering from hard times and pay a great deal of their paychecks to income tax, and they really didn't want to hear a rich athlete discuss financial difficulty. 

Still, the aftermath of his comments ranged from outrage to measured applause. Regardless, the golf star has promised to stay private about such issues and will concentrate on golf going forward. 

And really, if you are still bothered by anything the beloved athlete had to say, let's consider forgiveness seems to be a running theme in 2013. 

Tiger Woods, long vilified for his tumultuous personal life, is once again a favorite at the Masters, and it's what fans will key in on during what will be a fabulous week of golf. 

For a brief moment, we are back to watching classic golfers with absurd peripherals left to rest well off the course. 

Mickelson will once again walk Augusta, which will prove to be some of the best golf of the year. 


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