Mickelson blames putter

2006-07-23 17:51
Hoylake - Phil Mickelson slipped out of the British Open on Sunday, blaming his malfunctioning putter for his failure to mount a challenge.

With two first and one second place in his three previous major outings, Mickelson had arrived at Hoylake in confident mood.

But he slipped out of contention when Tiger Woods fired a second round 65, six shots better than the left-hander could manage, and ended well off the pace at five under par following a final round 70.

"When I putt well I seem to have chances to win and I seemed to struggle on the greens this week," he said.

"I actually hit the ball very well today but I just couldn't get the ball in the hole. The pin positions were tough and that made it difficult to get close."

Mickelson had spent more pre-tournament time on the Royal Liverpool links than any of his major rivals, declining an invitation to his usual warm-up at the Scottish Open.

Despite his frustration at the way things turned out, it is an approach he intends to largely stick with in the build-up to next year's tournament at Carnoustie, a course which will present a totally different type of challenge if the rough is at its full "Carnasty" thickness.

"I learned a lot about how I'm going to prepare next year," Mickelson said.

"I'm going to make a couple of adjustments but the biggest thing is I need to putt well and get the ball in the hole."

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