Phil Mickelson grateful for Masters chance

Mickelson grateful for Masters chance
© PA Photos
Phil Mickelson says that he is excited about playing at the Masters.

World number nine Phil Mickelson has expressed his excitement ahead of the Masters this week.

The 42-year-old, who emerged victorious in Augusta in 2004, 2006 and 2010, is chasing his fourth title after a triple-bogey seven at the short fourth dropped him to a tie for third last year.

Mickelson, who has been paired with Louis Oosthuizen and Martin Kaymer for the tournament, is adamant that golf doesn't get any more exciting than it does at the Masters.

"I think what makes the Masters so exciting is having an opportunity to win; playing the back nine with an opportunity," Mickelson told BBC Sport.

"That is what is so enjoyable, exciting as a player. And I've been fortunate to come out on top a few years and I've been unfortunate to have a number of them come close but not quite good enough.

"But either way, having that opportunity to be in the thick of it and to feel that excitement, to feel that pressure, to grace Amen Corner knowing that you need birdies and trying to win a green jacket, that is the greatest thrill a golfer can possibly experience."

Mickelson recently took the last week before the Masters off for the first time in years.

Martin Kaymer with the Nedbank Golf Challenge trophy on December 2, 2012
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