Phoenix Open: Defending champion Phil Mickelson set to play

Last Updated: 30/01/14 7:20am

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Phil Mickelson: Champion displays the Phoenix Open trophy last year

Phil Mickelson: Champion displays the Phoenix Open trophy last year

Sky Bet

Defending champion Phil Mickelson expects to be fit to play in the Waste Management Phoenix Open which starts on Thursday.

The 43-year-old left-hander was forced to withdraw from last week's Farmers Insurance Open because of a back injury.

Mickelson made the halfway cut at Torrey Pines but then pulled out before the start of Saturday's third round.

The world No 4, 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 and he is now on course to tee up in the first round at TPC Scottsdale.

He said: "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 won the tournament by four shots last year, had 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'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."

Watch the Phoenix Open first round live on Sky Sports 4 HD from 8pm

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