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Mickelson sets sights on Scotland after closing 68

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AKRON, Ohio – With his WGC-Bridgestone Invitational now in the books, Phil Mickelson is ready to set his sights on Scotland.

Mickelson closed with a bogey-free 68 at Firestone Country Club, his only sub-par round this week. At 4-over 284, he finished in the middle of the pack among the 58-man field.

Mickelson remains confident with his tee-to-green game, but noted that his putting this week wasn’t up to his standards from earlier in the season.

“The scoring is a little deceptive. The first three rounds, I missed a lot of easy up-and-downs and I didn’t make a lot of putts,” he said. “Today I didn’t really do anything different, only thing was that I got up-and-down on the greens that I missed. But I don’t have a lot of birdies out here. It’s very hard for me to get the ball close to a lot of these pins.”

Mickelson will now fly to Scotland for a two-week stretch that includes the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open and the Open Championship. He remains unsure if he’ll visit Royal Troon before tournament week, but Mickelson is eager to return to Castle Stuart, where he won the Scottish Open in 2013 before taking home the claret jug the following week.

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“I just think it’s the perfect course to get ready for the Open because you play all the links shots, but you don’t get beat up. You don’t get punished like the Open does, with the thick, heavy rough,” he said. “The fairways are generous, you can hit whatever club off the tee. I love it.”

Mickelson is excited for the upcoming stretch of three events in four weeks, including a pair of majors, noting that it’s an opportunity to “have a good little stretch” if his game peaks at the right time.

But since he won’t qualify for the Olympics, Mickelson also has his eye on an opportunity to recharge next month following the PGA Championship.

“I’ve never had three weeks off in the summer,” he said. “Usually I’m pretty tired hitting the FedEx Cup, and this year I don’t think that will be the case. I think I’ll have that three-week stretch to get me motivated.