Phil Mickelson left the country, entering the Scottish Open as an 11th-hour invite, but was unable to shake his recent string of over-par rounds on Thursday.
Mickelson opened with 1-over 73 at Castle Stuart in Inverness for his eight consecutive over-par round worldwide and trails leader Francesco Molinari by 11 shots after the first round.
He had hoped getting in some extra rounds ahead of next week's British Open would help him round into form. The left-hander made four birdies on the day, but also carded three bogeys and a double-bogey 7 at the par-5 12th hole.
“After playing poorly last week I needed to get into a competition and try and get out and score because I am not just throwing one or two shots away,' he said. 'I am throwing four, five or six and I am trying to get that resolved.'
The last time Mickelson shot an under-par competitive round was on May 20, when he closed with 4-under 66 at the HP Byron Nelson Championship at TPC Four Seasons in Dallas. Since then, Mickelson withdrew after a distracted first round at Memorial, played four sub-standard rounds at the U.S. Open and was sent packing for the second consecutive year at The Greenbrier Classic last week.
Mickelson admitted he needs better focus to produce better results.
'We all go through what I am going through throughout our career, and while it’s only been three tournaments, I also have only played three weeks out of the last six to eight weeks,' he said. “And when I have played I have not been in a good competitive, tournament frame of mind.”