Done deal: “Lefty” confirmed, ready to defend WMPO title

Arizona Sports News online

The pain won’t keep Phil Mickelson away.

The defending Waste Management Phoenix Open champion confirmed late Wednesday afternoon he will be participating in opening round play which begins Thursday morning.

He arrived in Scottsdale Wednesday and traveled to TPC’s neighboring Whisper Rock Golf Club to prepare for his defense.

“I had a good practice session, though I didn’t go full speed for much of it,” Lefty said in a statement following his round. “I feel fine. I expect to play and play well.

Mickelson’s status for this week was unknown after he withdrew from The Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego on Friday due to back problems. CBS golf analyst Gary McCord told’s Brad Cesmat he spoke to Mickelson’s caddy Jim “Bones” Mackay Tuesday who said he was ready to go. According to McCord, Mickelson traveled to Atlanta this week to see a back specialist regarding his lower back joint.

Three of Mickelson’s 42 tour wins have come at the Phoenix Open. He also said he plans to play next week in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.