While 2013 Scottish Open champion, Phil Mickelson described the tournament as the ‘perfect warm-up’ tournament for the Open Championship, he will be forced to break a 13-year-old streak if he is to win his first British Open at Muirfield this week.
No player in the last 13 years has gone on to win the Open the week after winning the Scottish Open and while the last 3 Open winners have played in the Scottish Open the week before, don’t be fooled around the hype. The last 3 Scottish Open winners went on to finish 77th, MC and 27th respectively after their wins at Loch Lomond and most recently Castle Stuart. On the flip side the last three Open winners being Ernie Els, Darren Clarke and Louis Oosthuizen finished 52nd, 66th and MC respectively before they all lifted the Claret Jug the following week.
“It’s difficult to win the week before a major and then follow it up winning the major. But then again the last person to do it, you’re looking at him,” Mickelson said.
Mickelson also spoke to ESPN earlier in the week saying he’s trying to figure out how to make easy pars, but I don’t think he was talking about the backwards chip shot he was videoed practicing on Monday.
“I’m trying out how to make easy pars, how to get the ball in the fairway easily, how to get it up, on or around the green easily without a lot of stressing,” Mickelson said. “Imperfect shots will be magnified by the wind.”
While there’s no doubting the fact that Mickelson is in form and he’s said that he is becoming more and more accustomed to the links courses, but like his US Open hoodoo will the history catch up to him? Or can Phil hoist his first Claret Jug come Sunday evening in Gullane? Only time will tell.