On Thursday at noon, Phil Mickelson will be hitting his first tee shot of 2010, all new and improved. Or so he says.
That was the sentiment at the press conference on Wednesday, when Phil went on about his new driving and his new wedge game and how well he is putting. It's vintage Mickelson ... make us all believe something is different, stick to that routine for a week or a month and then go back to being the swashbuckling psycho superstar some have grown to love, others to hate.
But how much of this is true, and how much of this is the fat-now-skinny golfer crying wolf directly in our face once again?
For years Phil was the type of golfer we all wanted to see win, because it honestly didn't seem like he could. The regular tournaments? Sure, the guy pulls in a few a year. The big boys? As often as spotting a clear faced adolescent. Nobody has ever had as many second place finishes in U.S. Opens than Phil. No superstar has ever struggled as much as Phil has in majors when you think he was the odds on favorite. No golfer has ever made as a big a group of golf fans collectively sigh, scream and curse, all in the same sentence (Except for possibly Jean Van de Velde, and that was only once).
Phil remarks that he has changed his poor driving (179th on tour in accuracy last season) into a strength. With the decrease in loft to his driver (now just six degrees), that almost seems impossible, unless he and his coaching cronies unveiled some new theory that doesn't match up scientifically.
With all his tinkering with equipment, and body, and support team, doesn't it all still come down to Phil being Phil mentally? This is a guy that once remarked himself that he was an idiot after a double-bogey dropped him from U.S. Open winner to bridesmaid, and no matter the run he had at the end of '09, is still Phil Mickelson.
The talk seems genuine, and by god, the PGA Tour needs Phil to start winning, and fast, but can we really believe another revamp of Mr. Mickelson?
His waistline might be continuing to shrink, and his biceps might be growing, but the inches he needs to beef up are still between his ears. Do that, and most of the Mickelson doubters will finally believe, for good this time.