Mickelson expects to defend title in Phoenix

Phil Mickelson has said he’s feeling good and is expected to be fit to defend his title at the Waste Management Phoenix Open after withdrawing from the Farmers Insurance Open due to a back injury.

’Lefty’ made the halfway cut at Torrey Pines but was then forced to pull out of the event shortly after, just before the start of Saturday’s round.

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

Mickelson is far from 100% but when speaking on Wednesday explained that he was in the right mindset and expected to play.

Speaking on pgatour.com, 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 won by four shots last year, leading from start to finish after an excellent opening round of 60 that many claim could have easily been a magical 59.

: "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,” Mickelson said.

"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."