It didn’t take long for Phil Mickelson to get things going in the first round of the Scottish Open this week. Even though he is two shots off of the lead held by John Parry, “Lefty” is in great shape at six under par. He started the round with a bogey but only carded one more after that. He did, however, pour in six birdies and an eagle in addition to the two bogeys.
This had to be about the best start to his British Open prep that Mickelson could have hoped to have. He hasn’t won in Europe in 20 years and nobody was really sure what to expect from him this week. Mickelson has been wildly inconsistent this year, but if this is the start of a hot streak on European soil he could be in for a good time at the Open Championship next week. “It’s great for me to get off to a decent start because I have gotten off to poor starts the last couple of years here, and I have been fighting just to make the cut and get into reasonable contention,” Mickelson said. “Many of my great rounds in the past have started with a bogey, so I wasn’t too worried.”
He knows that this is a great opportunity to get ready for the third major championship of the year. “It gives you a chance to hit all the shots we’ll play next week — to have bump-and-run iron shots into the green, to run shots up, putt off the green … but not get beat up the week before,” he said. “You can only handle so much punishment the week before the Open when the rough is so thick and the penalty for a miss is so great.”
We have to be careful not to get ahead of ourselves, because it’s possible that Mickelson could have a complete meltdown over the next three rounds. At the same time, he has the potential to run away from the field. Only time will tell.