Mickelson says he's got a comfort with the layout that gives him confidence he can make a mistake and remain in contention, unlike the punishing course setups he's seen at U.S. Opens.
"I think that's what's exciting about Augusta National is the recovery shot," he said. "That's the most exciting shots in golf. One of the most exciting shots I've ever hit in my career is a recovery shot on (No.) 13 a few years ago."
Back in 2010, Mickelson seemed on the verge of major problems after his tee shot rolled into pine needles and trees on the par-5 13th hole. Instead of playing out, Mickelson hit his ball between two trees and cleared Rae's Creek to land on the green. His birdie kept momentum on his side on the way to the championship.
Mickelson says by playing the week before, he's generally more ready to attack the early holes at Augusta National.
If Mickelson can come out ready, he believes he's got the game and the tools to make another winning run.
He says his redesigned driver has added distance and put him in spots on the course the 42-year-old hasn't seen in several years.
The added length has left him less clubs to use on his approach shots, an advantage the short-game wizard can't wait to bring to the course in competition.
He said his tee shots on the par-4 ninth hole have gotten to the bottom of the hill "and I haven't been able to do that in years."
Mickelson has had two top-10 finishes this year, including a victory in Phoenix. He thinks acknowledging his concerns will help him get past them over the next couple of days. Still, he's not sure and knows he won't have the answer to that until today's start.
"It's always a challenge those first five or six holes," he said, "when you haven't been in competition to be really mentally focused and sharp."