Mickelson relaxed down PGA stretch

Phil Mickelson’s first impressions of West Virginia’s Greenbrier may be that of a family-friendly resort but while he was eager to list the activities for his family including his wife Amy and their three children, he was equally eager to take on the Greenbrier Classic’s retooled Old White TPC beginning Thursday.

Among the family activities being eyed included an adventu7re 45 feet in the air through the giant swing, climbing a wooden tower, going for the laser tag, white-water rafting and interacting with the trained falcons.

“It’s an amazing place,” Mickelson said. “I can’t get over all the fun things that they have to do. My daughters are excited about the falconry. I don’t know where in the world you can do that.

“The golf is a bonus.”

Only two golfers belonging to the world’s top 20 entered in the Greenbrier Classic instead of taking an extra week off and they are Mickelson and Retief Goosen.

Mickelson will surely have a tough schedule since he will also be at the Bridgestone Invitation 8n Akron, Ohio which is five hours away. After that, he will be off to Atlanta’s PGA Championship and the gruelling playoffs at the FedEx Cup.

However, the early part of the week seem more like a vacation for Mickelson and his loved ones.

“To have an environment here that’s so family friendly, it makes it easy,” Mickelson said Wednesday.

Top four Mickelson, who tied for second at the British Open, can get lead points at the FedEx Cup with a Greenbrier Classic win. The only other golfer in the top 10 in points entered is number 9 Webb Simpson.

“I had a good tournament there at the British and I felt like I turned the corner,” Mickelson said. “I’m starting to put things together slowly, be a little bit more patient, enjoy my time on the course and be more creative hitting shots again. I’m excited about this next three-week stretch.”

Mickelson will be in the same group with Greenbrier pro emeritus Tom Watson and Stuart Appleby for the first two rounds.

“I’ll probably watch a little bit how he plays this course,” Mickelson said.