Mickelson schedule cuts will come but not before majors

Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:31am EDT
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By Andrew Both

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Phil Mickelson plans to play in the week before each of the major championships next year despite making as yet unspecified cuts to his overall schedule for 2014, the British Open champion said on Wednesday.

The 43-year-old American said he would compete in Houston before the Masters, in Memphis before the U.S. Open, in Scotland before the British Open and in Akron before the PGA Championship.

Mickelson has clearly given particular thought to his preparations for the U.S. Open, the only major missing from his collection and a tournament where he has been runner-up six times.

Victory at the Pinehurst No. 2 course next June would make him only the sixth player to complete the modern Grand Slam and he is determined not to go to North Carolina underprepared.

"I like to have a three-week stretch heading into the majors, although (next year the lead-up to the US Open) will be the only three-week stretch," he said on the eve of the WGC-HSBC Champions tournament.

"Playing Memphis the week before is very helpful (because) they are very similar grasses as Pinehurst, with the exception of the greens.

"So I plan to play Memphis (St Jude Classic) and I plan to play Memorial the week before that and I'll have some time in Pinehurst prior to that."

Left unsaid was which tournaments the five-times major winner would scrap, although his comments suggested the PGA Tour's season-ending FedEx Cup playoffs might be on the chopping block.   Continued...

U.S. golfer Phil Mickelson speaks during a news conference at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club (KLGCC) in Kuala Lumpur October 23, 2013, ahead of the CIMB Classic tournament. REUTERS/Samsul Said