Will Mickelson's fast start pay off at Masters?


Phil Mickelson typically gets his PGA Tour early in the season.


And why not? Lefty’s ties to California and Arizona are well known, and he’s comfortable playing there.


And with Sunday’s victory in the WM Phoenix Open, it could bode well for those picking him at the Masters.


Mickelson has won coming into Augusta two out of the three years he slipped on a green jacket. (Kind of like Tiger Woods, who has won on the PGA Tour before each of his four Masters victories.)


“It’s important to start building momentum, but it’s more important what you do closer to Augusta,” Mickelson said in a TV interview after his win.


In 2004, Mickelson won the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic . Three months later, he birdied the 18th hole at Augusta National to win his first major and cap a stirring final round.


In 2006, Mickelson won at the 11th hour. That year, he romped to victory at the BellSouth Classic in Atlanta the week before the Masters. A week later, he earned his second green jacket.


Mickelson’s only 2010 win came at the Masters. A year later, he won the week before the Masters in Houston, but had an off week at Augusta National and tied for 27th.


In 2012, Mickelson won at Pebble Beach in February and was in position to claim his fourth Masters title heading into the final round. But a costly triple-bogey on the 4th hole derailed his chances.


With his latest win, which was just two shots off the all-time 72-hole scoring record, Mickelson now has 41 career victories.


The 42-year-old would like nothing more than to collect his 42nd win in Augusta.


Doug Ford, 1957 Masters champion, dies at 95