Phil Mickelson is hoping to turn his miserable season around in the next fortnight by completing what he calls a “double, double” success.
Mickelson plays in the Scottish Open today before his attention turns towards the year’s third major, the British Open, which begins at Hoylake next Thursday, and he is hoping to top the leaderboard at both events.
Last year, 'Lefty' was able to win both events, meaning he has two title defences in as many weeks coming up and he is determined to retain his crowns.
However, if he is to do so he will have to turn around his form, which has been uncharacteristically poor for the entirety of 2014 so far.
The veteran American has struggled to find anywhere near his top golf, failing to find a top ten finish in all 15 of the events he has played so far on either the European or PGA Tour during the year to date.
His form at the year’s first two majors is equally discouraging, after he failed to make the cut at the Masters before his wait for the US Open continued last month, when he slumped to a finish in tied 28th position after the four days play.
However, he is aiming for a change of fortunes now as he looks to build some momentum at the Scottish Open to help him defend his Open Championship the week after.
“For me each round presents a great opportunity to work on my game,” Mickelson said to reporters at the Royal Aberdeen Golf Club, where the Scottish Open takes place.
“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.”
Winning this year looks difficult with the competition boasting a stellar line-up of consisting of some of the world’s top golfers.
The likes of Justin Rose, Rory McIlory, Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker all head to the tournament in search of victory and will surely be in far more confident moods than Mickelson.
To add to the five time major winner’s problems the Royal Aberdeen is set to test the players to the max, with the course and conditions expected to be particularly punishing.
In 1995 the Scottish Open was criticised for being too harsh a challenge for players heading into the British Open and, as such, it has been held at easier courses designed to be more forgiving, but it has returned to its brutal roots this year.
No room for error
The course is long, with steep bunkers dotted about the track designed to punish the slightest mistake and with the elements set to play their part too it could be a damaging place if anybody is playing below par.
Mickelson is experienced enough to handle it, though, having seen it all before over his illustrious career and he is looking forward to trying out his new found approach to playing links courses.
“I used to swing hard . . . put more spin on it, and the wind would have a greater effect,” he explained.
“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."
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