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Lefty 'cautiously optimistic' about Open chances

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Phil Mickelson hasn’t enjoyed much success at the Open Championship over the years, recording just two top-10s in 17 career starts.

But as he prepares at this week’s Scottish Open, Lefty said he remains “cautiously optimistic” about his chances at Muirfield. 

“I have really not played my best golf in this event,” Mickelson told Sky Sports on Wednesday. “But it’s time to play now. Shoot the scores and hit the shots that I’ve spent 20 years trying to work on. I think that the last eight or nine years I’ve started to play better golf. But it’s still a chance for me.”

Recently, Mickelson found himself in position to win the Open in 2011, when he finished tied for second, three shots behind winner Darren Clarke. But during the final round, he was hovering near the lead when he bogeyed four of the last eight holes to settle for 68.

His only other top-10 in the year’s third major was a solo third in 2004, when he finished a shot out of the Todd Hamilton-Ernie Els playoff.

“I’m always cautiously optimistic,” Mickelson, who is coming off a missed cut at The Greenbrier, told Sky Sports. “The British Open is one of my favorite events because it’s one of the most challenging events for me. But one of the things I’ve learned over the years, and especially here at Muirfield, is that you need an element of luck.”