Mickelson targets third Masters

By Brian Keogh

Defending champion Phil Mickelson wants a head-to-head with Tiger Woods and a third Masters title this week.

And the magical left-hander revealed that he will stick with his two-driver strategy so he can attack a fast-running Augusta National.

Mickelson said: "It's a course that I feel very good on, but so does Tiger. I mean, he plays this course very well. He's very tough to beat out here.

"I think it's a fun challenge to beat him. He's most likely the best player the game has ever seen.

"It's been he and Jack Nickalus and to be able to play against him in his prime is a great challenge."

The pair have shared five of the last six green jackets, with Woods winning in 2001, 2002 and 2005 with Mickelson breaking through in 2004 and again last year.

But the left-hander admits that no matter how often he wins, he will never overtake Woods's achievements.

He said: "If I have a great rest of my career, and I go out and win 20 more tournaments and seven more majors to get to 50 wins and ten majors, which would be an awesome career, I still won't get to where he's at today. So I don't try to compare myself against him.

"What I like to do is to try to win as many tournaments and as many majors that I can, and with him in the field, it just gives it more credibility, whatever it is I am able to accomplish."

Taking two drivers is part of Mickelson's strategy again this year alternating between a square headed driver for distance and a more lofted model for shaping shots.

He said: "The longer driver, the square one goes 20 yards longer than my regular one.

"So when I need distance, I use the square one. And when I try to hit little low shots or work it around the trees on 10 or 13, I'll use the regular-shaped driver."

World No 2 Jim Furyk, meanwhile, expressed his delight at the fast running fairways and dry weather forecast.

He said: "With the length they have added, going in with a seven-iron in my hand as opposed to a four-iron is going to make a huge difference."