Phil Mickelson: Why British Open Creates Great Chance for Rare Major Win
Phil Mickelson heads to the British Open with his best shot to win a major in 2012. It wasn't that long ago that this would be an absurd notion. Mickelson's game is naturally ill-suited for links style golf.
Lefty is a master of high-lofted and soft-landing shots. This works well on the dry, still-aired courses that the majority of PGA events are played, but not as well for the undulating and often downright stormy links courses featured in the British Open.
Where will Mickelson finish?
Well Mickelson has learned to adapt, and he now has in his arsenal a style of play that is fantastic for links golf. This has all been by design, and Mickelson is devoted to creating some momentum for one of the two majors he has not won.
Mickelson spent the past week competing in the Scottish Open. It is a great tuneup for the British, and Lefty acquitted himself nicely.
He finished five shots off the lead after stumbling to a 74 on Sunday, but he was brilliant in the second and third rounds. He was the best player on the links in those rounds as he fired a 64 and 65.
During his time at the Scottish, Mickelson addressed his transformation to a links friendly player, and at the root of it was his embrace of wild weather.
The Associated Press caught this quote from Lefty:
"I don't know where that happened along the way, whether it was last year or whether it was five, 10 years ago." But he says he started "to really enjoy the tough weather conditions and I hope that it's that way next week, too."
During the Scottish, Mickelson also displayed the changes in his shot making. Gone were the high-lofted soaring shots in favor of head-high screamers.
He will now take that new game to the British Open at Royal Lytham. He is familiar with the course as he finished tied for 30th when the British was there in 2001.
That is a pedestrian finish for this great golfer, but at the time, for him, that was a solid showing at the British. With his new approach and shot-making, he will vastly outperform what he did in 2001, and he has a great chance to walk away with the title.
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