Phil Mickelson is 'nervous' but ready for 2014 Masters

Can Phil Mickelson take his fourth green jacket? (Getty Images)
Can Phil Mickelson take his fourth green jacket? (Getty Images)

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I have to admit I was a little stunned to see Phil Mickelson say he had any anxiety about winning a fourth green jacket.

"I'm certainly nervous, because this is a week that I care about the most," said Mickelson. "This is the most special tournament, and I have to rely on kind of past performances and past successes and past memories to build that confidence."

It's true, Mickelson has been poor this year. He doesn't have a top 10 finish yet and that's rare for him heading into the Masters.

Nevertheless Mickelson, who said he removed hit sand wedge and gap wedge from his bag because he doesn't have any shots at Augusta between 90-130 yards, is fired up for this week.

Because he's always fired up for this week.

"It's a magical place," Mickelson said. "I don't have to play perfect to play well here, because I can recover from mistakes here. You have a chance to let your short game save it for you."

He also said the first green jacket was by far the hardest (there's a great story on outlining that win here).

"Sometimes you force things when you shouldn't. Sometimes your mind goes where it shouldn't and start seeing what you don't want to have happen and it's sometimes difficult to control your thoughts."

Mickelson does have this crazy stat going for him: In every even-numbered year since 2000 he has finished in the top five at the Masters, including three wins. That's absurd.

In fact, his average finish in even-numbered years is a full 18 spots better on average at Augusta (22nd place to 4th place).

If there's anything Lefty does well, it's the bizarre.

And when asked on Tuesday what keeps him level he said his caddie Jim "Bones" Mackay is right there with him righting the ship.

"He'll say, 'Remember, you've already won this thing.'"

Three times, in fact.

For more golf news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnGolf and @KylePorterCBS on Twitter or Google+ and like us on Facebook.

CBS Sports Writer

Kyle Porter began his sports writing career with CBS Sports in 2012. He covers golf, writes poetry about Rory McIlroy's swing, stays ready on Tiger watch and loves the Masters more than anyone you know.... Full Bio

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