By John Strege
SAN DIEGO -- If golf indeed is a game of confidence, as a wise man once said, then are Phil Mickelson's best days potentially ahead of him?
He seems to think so. A U.S. Open shy of completing the career grand slam, Mickelson suggested on Wednesday that multiple U.S. Open victories might be in his future.
"I'm excited that the tournament that I've played some of my best golf in is the one that I haven't won and I feel it's just a matter of time," Mickelson said on the eve of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course here. "It may be this year at Pinehurst, it may not, but I do believe that will come. I actually believe I'll win a couple."
It is ambitious for a 43-year-old, but he arrived in his hometown event teeming with confidence and fresh off a runner-up finish in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.
"I'm really excited for two reasons," he said. "The two areas of my game that I've not been as efficient as I would like in the last three or four years have turned into strengths. One of them is putting. I putted great last year. And the other is the driver.
"We've talked a little about some of the technology, but as the clubheads have gotten bigger, my driving's gotten worse. Having the center of gravity lower and more forward [in his new Callaway Big Bertha Alpha driver] has allowed me to make the same golf swing as my irons. It's just made driving a lot easier. I drove it the best I ever have Sunday in Abu Dhabi when I needed to hit fairways. With these two areas of my game that I've not been happy with becoming strengths, I'm more excited about this year than any year ever."