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Sitting just three shots off the lead at the 36-hole stage, Phil Mickelson has a great opportunity to become the oldest Masters champion in history here at Augusta National this weekend. 

However, that’s not to say he’s averse to enjoying himself and having a cheeky bit of social media fun. 

Driving up Magnolia Lane this morning, Phil revealed that he was looking forward to his 1.45pm tee time with fellow American Matt Kuchar but joked that they wouldn’t be having any side bets on their round… in case ‘Kuch’ stiffed him on his winnings!

“I’ve got a great pairing today, with Matt Kuchar,” said Mickelson. “Obviously, we’re not going to have any side action because I’d probably see, like, 0.06% if I did win. But we’re going to have a great day.”

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Mickelson, of course, is referring to the much-covered incident between Kuchar and local caddie David ‘El Tucan’ Ortiz at the Mayakoba Classic last year. 

Kuchar, who won the event, was roundly condemned for paying Ortiz only $5,000 out of his $1.3m winner’s cheque. In the face of heavy criticism, he upped that to $50,000 – but if was hoping that was the end of it, Phil’s not about to let him forget.

Forty-eight-year-old Phil also revealed his strategy for this weekend. 

• WATCH – Security guard almost cleans out Tiger

“I’m wearing all black, being aggressive, and hitting bombs,” he said. “I got to 125.1mph clubhead speed last night. I haven’t done that, I think, in my life. Why is that important? Well, because, when Dave Pelz ran an analysis of improving every statistical category by 10%, every category led to lower scores except longer drives. There was only one course in the world where longer drives equated to lower scores. That’ right, Augusta National. 

• Legend announces Masters retirement

“The shelves are so small where the pins are that you’ve got to hit bombs off the tee to be able to get to those small sections and that’s what I’m going to today. Hit bombs and attack the pins here at The Masters.”


author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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