Phil Mickelson is playing in the Scottish Open this week, and the Scotsman notes that he’s wearing his usual Pollyanna smile:
You gotta love Phil. You gotta will him on. God knows he needs the help because despite his oft-expressed love of this part of the world his results have been abysmal. That’s another part of Mickelson’s character that you have to admire. Throw some stats at him that show how poorly he has performed in big tournaments in Scotland and England in his career and he says, yeah, he’s not played well, but he’s loving the challenge all the same, loving the quest to become “the complete golfer”.
Phil’s record? It’s ugly. Six Scottish Opens and one decent performance, a second (beaten in a play-off by Gregory Havret) in 2007 to go with the 37th and the 33rd and the 35th and the two missed cuts in 2003 and 2010. And at The Open? Gruesome. Eighteen attempts and one top-ten. On 13 occasions he has finished outside the top-20 and four times he has missed the cut. And yet so much love in his heart. Those mountains and lochs must mean an awful lot to him.
“It’s something that I’m really starting to enjoy,” he said of his drive to conquer Britain. “It’s a real challenge for me to overcome the obstacles. It’s gotten me more determined to try and overcome this because this is exciting golf over here. I enjoy my time here. I enjoy the challenge of links golf. It’s fun.