Friday, 19 March 2010
Barclays Singapore Open - Previews  (Getty Images)
Barclays Singapore Open - Previews (Getty Images)

Phil Mickelson is confident of continuing his recent run of form at this week's Barclays Singapore Open as the American world number two looks to end a turbulent year on a high.

After finishing second at June's US Open, Mickelson took a six-week break after his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer just over a month after his wife received the same news.

He returned at August's Bridgestone Invitational and after struggling through the PGA Championship, improved throughout the FedEx Cup play-off series and claimed the season-ending Tour Championship ahead of Tiger Woods, although the world number one walked away with the overall title.

Mickelson then remained unbeaten as the US won the Presidents Cup and arrived in Singapore this week, where he led heading into the final round last year before being forced to settle for ninth, looking to make a solid start to his end of year Asian swing, which also includes next week's HSBC Champions in Shanghai - now a World Golf Championships event.

"It has been an interesting year. The last few weeks I have started to play well. I played well in the Presidents Cup and I played well in The Tour Championship. But I have had some interesting things going on in the year that made this year unique," he said.

"Fortunately, I have started to play well towards the end. Looking back, having won three times in the US, I feel as though it has been an okay year.

"I would liked to have had a victory in the majors. I felt like in the Masters and the US Open I had great opportunities and didn't pull them through.

"I now want to finish the year strongly and continue the play that I have had in my last two events, I want to carry that play over into Asia."

Mickelson puts his recent form down to finding a new-found faith with his putter after working with two-time PGA Championship winner and former USA Ryder Cup captain Dave Stockton.

"Since I have been working with Butch Harmon, I have been striking the ball better than I ever have and more confidently than I have ever and driving the ball longer and straighter than I ever have," he added.

"But I have not had the scores as my performance on the greens has been as bad as it has been in my career over the last two years. I have had some good weeks spread out and won some tournaments, but it hasn't been at a consistent level I expect."

Mickelson teamed up with Barclays president Bob Diamond to beat Padraig Harrington and Darren Clarke 2&1 over the back nine of the Serapong Course at Sentosa Golf Club yesterday and is eyeing another improved performance this week after finishing 23rd in 2007.

He said: "The course is in an incredible shape as it has been for the last few years. The rough is very difficult and very challenging. The greens and fairways are in perfect shape and make for low scoring.

"Now that I have played here a few times, I have learned the nuances. I played better in my second year than I did in my first so I hope to improve on my performance last year. "

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