SANDWICH, England – It took Phil Mickelson 18 tries but he may have found the answer to all those Open Championship questions – a fresh approach to links golf and an affinity for Royal St. George’s par 5s.
Lefty began the week in Sandwich saying he was going to approach this championship like it was his first and the results have been largely un-rookie-like. He’s tied for seventh, five off the lead held by Darren Clarke, following a third-round 71.
“You’ve got to have fun and accept the fact that making pars on these holes is a very tough task,” said Mickelson, who has just a single top 10 at the game’s oldest championship (2004).
Mickelson’s week has been made easier by a perfect performance on St. George’s par 5s. He’s 6-for-6 on Nos. 7 and 14 and 6 under par. By comparison, he’s 6 over on his other 48 holes. Mickelson’s mental approach may be new, but his scores look strangely familiar.