SANDWICH, England — After spending more time on Twitter and talking about his media feud than his actual golf game, Phil Mickelson is ready to get back to work this week at The Open.
Mickelson said Monday during a practice round at Royal St. George’s that he wanted to move on from the mini-controversy surrounding a report in the Detroit News concerning an old gambling issue that the Hall of Famer took issue with and then escalated by talking about it more.
In a brief interview on the course, Mickelson said “I made my point and got your attention” and said he had moved on to preparing for his 27th appearance in The Open.
Mickelson, who won the PGA Championship in May for his sixth major title and 45th PGA Tour win, arrived on Saturday and was had already seen the course on Sunday before his Monday practice session.
“My confidence level when I come to play The Open Championship since winning in ’13 is exponentially higher,” Mickelson said of his victory at Muirfield eight years ago. “And this course requires a lot of different shots. I feel like this is a good links course for my game. I don’t have to hit drivers. There’s plenty of room to hit it. There’s plenty of room to keep the ball in play. And then it lets me chip and putt to try and score.”
Mickelson had one of his best Open results at Royal St. George’s in 2011, finishing tied for second after leading at times during the final round, eventually finishing three strokes back of winner Darren Clarke.
To that point, Mickelson had just one top-10 in the Open, contending only in 2004, when he missed a playoff by a stroke and finished third.
The good play 10 years ago helped him two years later when he shot a closing 66 to come from five back and win the Claret Jug.
“I played some of my best golf here in some of the worst weather I’ve ever played in over here,” Mickelson said. “Barring Muirfield Saturday in ’02, the weather here in ’11 was some of the worst we played. I started two gloves. All weather gloves. The club wasn’t slipping and I played some of my best golf here. Ever since then I wear two all-weather gloves when it’s raining over here. I learned a lot that week that I carried over.”
Mickelson also learned not to get too excited about where his game stands early in the week. Since winning the PGA at Kiawah, his results have not carried over as Mickelson has not finished better than 60th in four appearances.
“My game’s been close and it’s settling in,” he said. “We’ll see. It’s Monday. But I like the course, I like how I’m going.”