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Phil Mickelson excited by new driver

January 15, 2014

Any new year can start with an old question: What will Phil Mickelson do next?

He's already thrown a change-up into his schedule - starting his year in a different desert when he tees it up this week in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship before returning to San Diego for the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.

He likely will skip the Match Play Championship again. The curve ball is Mickelson's intention of skipping Riviera to play the Honda Classic.

Mickelson last played the Honda Classic in 2002 when it was at TPC Heron Bay (maybe a good reason not to go back). It now is at PGA National, a typical Florida resort course with water on seemingly every hole. He has played Riviera the last seven years, with two wins and two playoff losses.

What really excites Mickelson is a new driver Callaway Golf made for him.

Mickelson was at his best with a 3-wood - think back to the 17th at Muirfield, two key shots that led to a claret jug. He says Callaway has used the same technology in that 3-wood and used it for a driver.

''That lowers the spin rate and allows me to drive it much penetratingly through the air, a lot straighter and I've never driven it this well,'' he said Tuesday in Abu Dhabi. ''That's why I'm so excited about this year. If I can take that weakness and turn it into a strength, the other areas of my game have been as good as they've ever been. And I'm excited about what 2014 could lead to.''

It's rarely dull with Mickelson.




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