TOUR Talk: Phil Mickelson on altitude at WGC-Mexico Championship

Corey Silvia/Icon Sportswire

Phil Mickelson finished the first round of the World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship atop the leader board, albeit tied with five other golfers, at 4-under.

Mickelson is a past champion of this event, winning the 2009 WGC-CA Championship when it was played at Doral in Miami. He has another WGC victory on his resume with his win in the 2009 HSBC Champions at the Sheshan Golf Club in Shanghai.

Following his first round 67, Mickelson spoke with Golf Channel about the altitude at this week’s WGC Mexcio Championship at Club de Golf Chapultepec that is located just outside of Mexico City. In case you missed it, the 7,330-yard par 71 course sits at a PGA Tour-record 7,780 feet above sea level.

“I’ve had some success in altitude in Denver winning the Amateur at Cherry Hills and The International a few times,” Mickelson said. “The thing I love the most about the altitude is that you have a greater discrepancy in your irons, a greater ability to hit the ball shorter or longer.”

“What I mean by that is at sea level, I hit a 9 iron 150 yards and if I need to hit it a little harder, I might be able to get 155 out of it. Let’s say I hit it 170 here, if I want to get a little more out of it, I can get 10-15 yards more out of it and hit it 180-185,” Mickelson continued. “So it’s all dependent upon angle of attack, speed, draw, trajectory and so forth, because what happens is the extra spin when you hit it hard does not have the same type of drag or in the air like you have a sea level. The ball soars through the air so you get a lot more out of it.

“That bigger difference between irons, I enjoy because it lets my feel and touch be more of an instrument throughout the round.”



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