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Golf Australia Express : July 2014
I T’S Phil, so anything’s possible. But on historical, current and exposed form, you’d be brave to bet against the odds that defending Open champion Mickelson will be watching someone else carry away his Claret Jug in a couple of weeks. This time last year the stars well and truly aligned for Lefty in a sparkling month filled with golfing riches and major championship glory. He had two runner-up finishes on the PGA Tour (and, admittedly, one missed cut) prior to jetting out for the British Isles where he swiftly won the Scottish Open. And then he made his way to Muirfield, where he stormed through the back door and made off with the title after birdieing four of the last six holes and turning a five-shot deficit into a three-stroke win over the comeback kid, Henrik Stenson. This year couldn’t be more different. Big Phil is middling — and muddling — at best. He tied for 28th at the US Open; tied for 11th the week before that; tied for 49th at the Memorial. He missed the cut at The Players. It’s hardly a major championship-winning CV. Knowledge of Royal Liverpool certainly counts for something, but Mickelson didn’t exactly master it the last time he visited Hoylake back in 2006. While Tiger Woods was busy winning yet another major, his compatriot was languishing 13 shots off the pace, below Australian journeyman Peter Lonard and a host of lesser lights. For Mickelson, the answer was simple after his disappointing outing at Pinehurst last month. "I've got to get some momentum and get my game sharp for me to really have a chance at winning, and I'm going to spend the next five, six weeks seeing if I can get that going to finish the year strong," Mickelson said. the preview "I'VE GOT TO GET SOME MOMENTUM AND GET MY GAME SHARP FOR ME TO REALLY HAVE A CHANCE AT WINNING.”