Even so, Mickelson only has two tournaments left -- this week's Northern Trust Open at Riviera and the Accenture Match Play Championship -- to avoid leaving the West Coast without a single top 10 for the first time in his 17 years on the PGA Tour.
"It's been more challenging this year, for whatever reason," said Mickelson, who tied for 55th last week in the rain-shortened AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
Mickelson is coming up on the two-year anniversary of when he began working with Butch Harmon , and there remains speculation that his two-coach system isn't best for his game.
Dave Pelz works with his short game and supplies more statistics than most golfers can digest.
The long game belongs to Harmon, who is built more toward feel.
CHECK YOUR FACTS: Robert Garrigus either didn't do the math or has been listening to one too many tales about how the world ranking is biased against Americans.
"I don't know if you guys knew, but Kenny Perry won in Phoenix and lost two spots in the world ranking, which is ridiculous," Garrigus said last week.
He then noted that Rory McIlroy won Dubai and went from No. 68 to No. 15.
In fact, Perry went from No. 15 to No. 9 with his victory in the FBR Open. McIlroy went from No. 39 to No. 16. Garrigus probably doesn't realize that the FBR Open actually offered more world ranking points than Dubai.
honor: Art Spander, a longtime columnist in the Bay Area, will receive the 2009 PGA Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism.
Spander first covered the Masters Tournament in 1967, and he has written from 120 major championships. He will be honored April 8 in Augusta, at the Golf Writers Association of America's annual awards dinner.