Mickelson unlikely to play Scottish Open every year

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Phil Mickelson began his 13th Scottish Open on Thursday, but he likely won’t play The Open warm-up every year going forward.  

“I doubt it will be the last time that I play,” he said, “but I don’t know if it will be an every-year occurrence.” 

Mickelson won at Castle Stuart in 2013 and captured The Open a week later, but the event also moves around to different venues in Scotland. He said it was difficult to adjust to the challenges of Royal Aberdeen (2014) and Gullane (2015) in just a few days, and next year’s event will be held at Dundonald. 

“I don’t know what my schedule will bring,” he said. “After playing Castle Stuart three times, the third time I was able to learn the golf course, play it effectively, and ultimately won. It takes a while to really understand the nuances of a links course; there’s so many of them.”

That said, Mickelson, who made his first appearance in this event in 2000 and has made seven consecutive starts, still believes the European Tour event is ideal preparation for The Open, as a player can get accustomed to the wind, air, fescue grass and firm turf. 

“I’ve played in the Scottish Open for 15 years or so,” he said, “and it’s been a real treasure for me.”