Four-time major champion Phil Mickelson is gearing up for next week's US Open tournament by playing the FedEx St Jude Classic in Memphis.

The 42-year-old is yet to lay his hands on the second major of the golf season, but hopes to go one step further than the tied-second-place finishes in 1999, 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2009, this year.

Mickelson has already spent some time playing the Merion course in Pennsylvania, and believes that taking part at TPC Southwind will be the perfect preparation for the event that starts one week today.

"I know that for me to be sharp mentally, especially in a tournament where the penalty for missing is so great, like the US Open, it's important that I'm sharp and I'm ready to play," he is quoted by Sky Sports.

"The greens here are small, they're difficult to get the ball stopped on, and there are a lot of cool little shots around the greens.

"The precision of the iron shot into the green as well as the importance of hitting fairways here is a similar style of golf that will happen at Merion next week."

After a disappointing performance at the Masters where he finished tied-54th with his best score of 71 coming in the opening round, Mickelson will be determined to produce a better showing at a course he has not played on competitively since the 1989 US Amateur championship.

"It's really a wonderful set-up," he reflected. "It didn't look tricked up at all."

With just two appearances since the Masters - finishing third in Charlotte at the beginning of May and then missing the cut in The Players Championship at Sawgrass, taking in another tournament was important for Mickelson ahead of the US Open.



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