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Phil Mickelson is fit to defend title at the Waste Management Phoenix Open

Updated: Thursday, 30 Jan 2014 08:16 | Comments

Phil Mickelson is going to battle past a back injury to defend his title
Phil Mickelson is going to battle past a back injury to defend his title

Phil Mickelson's expects to be fit for his title defence at the Waste Management Phoenix Open following his withdrawal from the Farmers Insurance Open because of a back injury.

Mickelson made the halfway cut at Torrey Pines but was then forced to pull out of the event before the start of Saturday's third round.

The 43-year-old, who finished joint second in Abu Dhabi on the European Tour the previous week, then flew to Georgia for a consultation with back specialist Tom Boers.

Although not at 100 per cent, Mickelson said on Wednesday he expects to play.

He said on pgatour.com: "I had a good practice session, though I didn't go full speed for much of it. I feel fine. I expect to play and play well."

Mickelson, who opted out of Wednesday's pre-tournament pro-am, won by four shots last year, leading from start to finish after a stunning opening round of 60 that could so easily have been a magical 59.

He said earlier: "If it was any other tournament I'd skip it, but I'm defending, it's my second hometown and I love the event. I'll have a light practice session and if it goes well I may try to play.

"I'm itching to play, but I have to look at the big picture. I have a number of tournaments I want to play and play well this year, including the majors, so I have to be realistic about how I feel in the short term."

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