Phil Mickelson will be reacquainted with two old friends when he defends his title at this week’s Open Championship at Hoylake.
The American left-hander has a 2-iron and a 64-degree wedge which he only uses on links courses and they are back in his bag as he attempts to become the first player since Padraig Harrington (2007-2008) to claim back-to-back Open titles.
“I have two clubs that are specific to this tournament,” he said. “One is a 2-iron and the other is a 64-degree wedge that has very little bounce. Basically, I put them away after this event and then bring them back out in July again. But they have been very instrumental in my success over here.”
Mickelson tees up this week seeking his first top-10 finish since January but he is far from despondent about his form.
“Obviously, it hasn’t been a good year,” he admitted. “Normally, I would be discouraged or frustrated, but I’m just not. I feel like I’ve had some good breakthroughs in some areas, I haven’t had the results but the parts feel a lot better than the whole right now.
“I don’t know when it will all click together, I don’t know if it will be this week. I don’t know if it will be in three weeks or a month or what, but it should be soon. I feel like it’s really close to being good.
“Rather than trying to force it or press the issue, I’m going to be patient,” he added. “But I’m driving the ball with more confidence and better than I ever have. I don’t know if the stats show it or not, but I know I am
“This has not been a good putting year and I think that’s why the results haven’t been there,” he concluded. “But I had a good breakthrough these last couple of weeks since the US Open. I have been working with (Dave) Stockton and feel he’s helped me to be more consistent.
We’ll see. That’s why we play the game, you just never know from one day to the next.”