Aggression is Mickelson's Augusta key

Phil Mickelson believes the secret to Masters success is total aggression.

The left-hander, who can become world No 1 if he wins his fourth green jacket this week, insists that you must go out and grab the title and not wait for others to make mistakes.

A firm believer in all out attack, Mickelson told the Augusta Chronicle: “In this day and age when you’re playing against the best players in the world, you’ve got to hit shots and pull it off.

“The guy that comes out and plays conservative and doesn’t take on any risk and lets the whole field give it to him, he’s not going to win much.

“He’s got to go out and be aggressive and hope you pull the shots off and try to win rather than let somebody lose.

“That day was back in the ’70s when Nicklaus was winning his majors that he would let guys give it to him and so forth.

“Today there are too many good players, and Tiger (Woods) has changed that whole mind-set. You have to go out and win that thing.”

The Californian’s aggressive style paid dividends last year when he crushed Lee Westwood’s dream with a swashbuckling performance.

Believe that his risk-taking strategy is the best policy, Mickelson said: “The golf course itself, as difficult and challenging as it is, when I go through the gates I don’t feel like I have to play perfect golf.

“I feel like I can have mistakes and still make pars. I don’t have to drive it perfect. I can go in the trees and hit shots under the trees and up by the green somewhere and with my short game salvage par.

“At Augusta, I feel like skill and touch and short game are always a factor where you can salvage par.”

Mickelson went for everything last year with his six iron from the trees to four feet at the 13th on Sunday was easily the shot of the championship.

His caddie Jim Mackay said: “Phil would not have won the Masters last year if he was not as aggressive as he was. If he wasn’t an aggressive player he would have finished about 10th that week.”