Mickelson looking to finally conquer links golf



ASSOCIATED PRESS

Published — Wednesday 10 July 2013

Last update 10 July 2013 8:22 pm

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

INVERNESS, Scotland: Just when he thought he’d finally understood the unique nature of links golf, Phil Mickelson arrived at last year’s British Open and missed the cut for the first time at a major in five years.
“I don’t know what to say,” a disillusioned and perplexed Mickelson said repeatedly, as he prepared to leave Lytham two days earlier than expected.
Fresh off another disappointment — a sixth second-place finish at the US Open last month — the American is back for another go on a links course as he plays the Scottish Open starting today, a week ahead the British Open at Muirfield.
“It’s still a challenge for me, still not something I grew up doing, still something I’m trying to learn as I continue through my career,” Mickelson said yesterday. “So I’m always cautiously optimistic.”
Any self-belief must be in short supply whenever he flies to Europe — he hasn’t won here in 20 years, since a victory in a second-tier Challenge Tour event in Paris in which he narrowly beat Steve Elkington.
But links golf is something that continues to appeal to the easy-going Californian. And while the likes of Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and the rest of the world’s top seven have headed to courses across Britain to prepare for the British Open in non-competitive conditions, the eighth-ranked Mickelson will be at Castle Stuart this week practicing his bump-and-runs and low drives into the wind with a title and prize money at stake.
Mickelson is a regular at the Scottish Open, and came closest to winning it in 2007 when he lost a playoff to Gregory Havret.
“I think everybody has to find out what works for them to get ready for the big events,” said Mickelson, one of only four Americans in the Scottish Open field. “When we moved the tournament from Loch Lomond to a links-style course here at Castle Stuart, I thought it ... enhanced the opportunity for players to play the week before and to get their games sharp for the British Open.”
Mickelson has reasons to be optimistic ahead of these next two weeks. He says his driving and putting — what he claims have been the “weaknesses” in his game for the past five years — are now his strong points.
His decision to have five putting greens in his garden back home, all with different surfaces, appears to be paying off.
“Because I’ve been putting so well, I’m really looking forward to the challenge,” he said. “I mean, I think that I’m optimistic it could be a little different.”
Mickelson has had a difficult past month. Still coming to terms with the “heartbreak” of losing out to Justin Rose at the US Open, he missed the cut at the Greenbrier Classic last week in his first outing since Merion.
Maybe a trip to Scotland, with his wife and kids in tow, will do him some good.
“Rather than look at it as a failure, I want to use it as an opportunity to take advantage of where my game has got in these last few months and try to have a great second half of the year, starting here in the Scottish and the British, as well as the PGA Championship and our FedExCup back in the US” Mickelson said, recalling his latest US Open near-miss.
“They all kind of hurt for a while but then you kind of move on. I think it’s one of those things where maybe at the end of my career and I stop playing, I’ll look back on it a little bit more.”
Mickelson plans to visit the local battlefields from the middle of the 18th century during his time in northern Scotland but he will not lose sight of his priorities in the days ahead.
“I think it would be, for me, one of my greatest accomplishments to be able to conquer links golf and to win an Open Championship over here,” said Mickelson, a winner of four majors but never the British Open.
“It’s time to play now. It’s time to shoot the scores and hit the shots that I’ve spent 20 years now trying to work on.”

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: A Saudi citizen was killed in shelling fired across the border from Yemen into the southwest of Saudi Arabia on Sunday, local media reported.A shell fell on a house around dawn in Najran province, civil defense department spokesman Ali bin Om...
JEDDAH: Female voters in Al-Ahsa have urged the authorities handling the municipal elections to drop the condition of presenting the national identity card while enrolling themselves in the voters’ list. Some women in Madinah too have appealed for mo...
JEDDAH: After the recent incident of a rat eating from a bowl at a well-known food outlet in a Jeddah mall came to light, residents have called for food hygiene ratings of restaurants and roadside eateries across the city.Although the municipality wo...
JEDDAH: A muezzin (one who recites the Adhaan) of a Riyadh mosque recently sprung a surprise in the Austrian tourist town of Zell am See by his Adhaan after taking permission from members of a musical band.Social media is abuzz with the news and vide...
RIYADH: A Sri Lankan national, who works as a cleaner in the Kingdom, was commended and rewarded by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTNH) for returning a bag containing gold to its owner.“Prince Sultan bin Salman, president o...
RIYADH: Bangladesh State Minister for Foreign Affairs Mohammed Shahriar Alam arrived in Jeddah on Sunday to meet with his Saudi counterpart Nizar Madani on Monday.On arrival at the royal terminal, the minister was received by Director General of the...
RIYADH: A report of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage predicts the rate of growth in job opportunities in the country's tourism sector between 2010 and 2020 will be 10 percent a year as compared to a global growth rate of 2.5 per...
JEDDAH: Two million meningitis vaccines have been distributed among health centers in 20 governorates and provinces across the Kingdom for domestic Haj pilgrims.It is mandatory for all pilgrims to be vaccinated against meningitis and for those coming...
JEDDAH: The Makkah governorate has announced four new road projects linking Makkah and Jeddah. The new roads will facilitate smoother and faster travel between the cities.An estimated 35 million people will benefit from the projects, which will inclu...
JEDDAH: A major disaster is waiting to happen in the fish market of Madinah because of the callous attitude of traders toward handling of gas cylinders. A visit to the market presents a dreadful picture of cylinders kept on top of each other without...
JEDDAH: Information and Culture Minister Adel Al-Toraifi has approved the appointment of Khalid Bo-Ali as editor in chief of the Eastern Province-based Alsharq Arabic newspaper. He was nominated for the post by the board of directors of the newspaper...
JEDDAH: Jamil Farsi, head of the Gold and Jewelry Committee at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), says he expects 3,000 job opportunities to be created for Saudi women in the jewelry design and gold sector across the Kingdom, with ab...
JEDDAH: More than 50 visually challenged people successfully performed Umrah with the help of the Ebsar Foundation for the Visually Impaired and the Ambassadors of Volunteers organization under their program “Umrah for the visually impaired,” which w...
JEDDAH: Although the Ministry of Labor is opening its doors to receive complaints from private sector employees, many Saudi females employed in cosmetic and perfume shops in Madinah are not making complaints about being overworked due to fear of losi...
JEDDAH: Health Minister Dr. Khaled Al-Falih is set to increase the number of beds in all private sector hospitals, as per new implementation regulations adopted this year.The move will help address the problem of delays in public sector projects, as...

Stay Connected

Facebook