Mickelson gets confidence boost from Sunday 68


HOYLAKE, England – Phil Mickelson’s 68 Sunday at the Open Championship was just what he hoped to see heading into an important stretch of the season.

Mickelson didn’t get to keep the claret jug, but his 5-under 283 – he was T-21 when he finished his round – gave him confidence that his game was trending in the right direction.

“It’s kind of reignited my excitement,” he said, “because my game just started to click.”

Good timing, too, because the FedEx Cup playoffs – and Ryder Cup qualifying deadline – are fast approaching.

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Lefty has played in every U.S. team competition since the 1995 Ryder Cup, and he’s currently No. 12 in the Ryder Cup points standings (top nine automatically qualify).

On Sunday, captain Tom Watson said that neither Mickelson nor Tiger Woods were guaranteed a spot if they failed to make the team on points. Mickelson said that he was very proud of his “record of consistency” and wanted to see his streak continue.

“If I play like I did this week at Akron and PGA, I’ll be fine,” he said. “I’ll be on it. But it would be beneficial for both me and Tom if I can do it on my own. … If I don’t get it on my own, I don’t know if I have played well enough this year to deserve a spot. You want players that are hot, that are playing well. I need to step up and start doing that.”