A Phil Mickelson advance scouting trip to a major venue has become a standard part of the player's preparation in recent years. What makes his appearance today at Hazeltine, where he is playing a practice round in preparation for next month's PGA, so noteworthy is that Mickelson has not played a tournament since his second-place finish at the U.S. Open.
In the intervening months, Mickelson has tended to his wife and mother, both of whom are being treated for breast cancer.
Just a day earlier the PGA Tour announced Mickelson would return to play the Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone, but there's little question his primary focus is the following week, where he'll be in pursuit of a second PGA to go with his win at Balusrol in 2005. Mickelson made the cut at Hazeltine after opening with a 76 in 2002, but he finished six-over par and in a tie for 34th place, 16 shots behind winner Rich Beem.
-- Sam Weinman