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Donald, Mickelson plan Open scouting trips

Golf Talk Central
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DUBLIN, Ohio – With the U.S. Open a fortnight away players’ attention is squarely fixed on the season’s second major and a Congressional layout that will likely be much different than what players remember.

Some players already have scouting trips planned to Congressional, which last hosted an Open in 1997, including new world No. 1 Luke Donald and Phil Mickelson.

Although the Blue Course has become a PGA Tour staple in recent years, hosting the AT&T National from 2007-09 and the now-defunct Booz Allen Classic in 2005, neither Donald nor Mickelson have much experience on the redesigned layout.

Mickelson last played the Blue in 2007 when he missed the cut at the AT&T National, while Donald last played the Rees Jones-redesigned course during the ’05 Booz Allen.

For championship, the U.S. Golf Association plans to increase par to 71, the first time the organization has ever done that for the national championship, to accompany a dramatically changed routing since the last time the Open was played in the nation’s capital.

Donald’s best finish at Congressional is a tie for 13th at the ’05 Booz Allen, while Lefty finished 29th in ’05.