Mickelson relishing his 'double double' challenge

Wed Jul 9, 2014 12:30pm EDT
 
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(Reuters) - Phil Mickelson is hoping for the wind to blow and the rain to fall this week as he aims for his personal "double double" of Scottish Open and British Open success which the American achieved last year.

The Scottish event, which starts on Thursday at Royal Aberdeen, is the perfect preparation for the major challenge at Royal Liverpool on July 17, Mickelson told reporters on Wednesday.

"For me each round presents a great opportunity to work on my game," he said. "It gives me the chance to get sharp as well as to compete and attempt to defend the championship I’m very proud to have won last year.

"I’m looking forward to it. Tomorrow’s supposed to be terrible weather, I hope it is because I would love to get out in that stuff and be able to play in it as I never get a chance to back home."

Mickelson, a five-time major winner, revealed he used to struggle with links golf because he always fought the conditions.

"I would swing hard, I would put more spin on it, and the wind would have a greater effect," said the 44-year-old left-hander.

"Now after learning how to take more clubs, swing it easier, and let it feel like you are hitting little half-shots, I’m not fighting it because I’m not having to make full hard aggressive swings."

The Scottish Open has produced the last four British Open champions - Ernie Els, Darren Clarke, Louis Oosthuizen as well as the American - and all four are in a formidable field at Royal Aberdeen.

Mickelson's success last year prompted Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy to turn up.   Continued...

 
Phil Mickelson of the U.S. looks on after hitting an errant drive on the 14th hole during the third round of the U.S. Open Golf Championship in Pinehurst, North Carolina June 14, 2014. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith