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Mickelson explains lack of Sawgrass practice: 'I’ve played here 25 years'

Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports

It's not uncommon for Phil Mickelson to be a little different with his approach to a golf tournament, but playing no practice rounds was a bit odd.

Mickelson elected to forgo practice rounds at the newly renovated TPC Sawgrass course this week, playing it for the first time in Thursday's opening round.

“The course really isn’t that different,” Mickelson told Will Gray from the Golf Channel after a 2-under 70. “No. 12 is a little bit different, but I’ve played here 25 years, so it’s not like that one round was going to make a big difference. I just felt like I wanted to conserve energy and sharpen my game.”

The 46-year-old hasn't won since the 2013 Open Championship, but hasn't missed a cut this year either, and said his age and the hot weather also factored into his decision.

“The issue I’ve had this year is I’ve not finished rounds off strong, I’ve not finished the tournaments off strong,” Mickelson said. “So I want to make sure that I'm rested going in. I’m minimizing a lot of the other outside stuff that I do throughout the week in an effort to be a little bit sharper throughout the four days.”

Mickelson hasn't made the cut at THE PLAYERS Championship since 2012, when he finished in a tie for 25th place.

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