SAN DIEGO — Phil Mickelson’s status for the Waste Management Phoenix Open is in question after he withdrew from the Farmers Insurance Open on Friday night.
Mickelson shot a 1-over 73 on the South Course at Torrey Pines in the second round and said afterward that he feared getting into bad habits by altering his swing to keep his back from hurting. After his management company released a statement late Friday evening that said Mickelson had decided to withdraw, and Mickelson said he would talk to doctors to figure out the best course of action.
Mickelson is schedule to defend his title next week in Scottsdale, where his is a fan favorite as an Arizona State product.
"I love this tournament and I want to play here. I love playing in San Diego, and this is a place where I grew up playing, so I really want to play," Mickelson said after his round. "And part of me also says that I’m getting in bad habits. And if I hit it in this rough here, I’ve really got an issue because I’ve got to swing awfully hard to get it out, and it jars it. So I’m a little torn right now on the best plan of action."
Mickelson doesn’t have a history of back problems; he said his back began to bother him last week in Abu Dhabi, where he was a runner-up.
But even after treatment overnight and some improvement, the pain returned and he said he was altering his swing to avoid his back hurting.
Mickelson plays a busy West Coast schedule. After the Waste Management Phoenix Open, he is scheduled to play at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am the following week. Mickelson is not planning to play at Riviera or Match Play because his children have spring break.
"I have the entire year. I’ve got majors coming up. I’ve got other tournaments coming up and I don’t want to get in bad habits," Mickelson said. "My game is pretty sharp getting ready to start the year, and I could tell I’m making terrible swings out there relative to the way I’ve been swinging."