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Phil Mickelson prepares for Open at Loch Lomond

World number three Phil Mickelson said on Wednesday the Scottish Open is ideal preparation for next week's British Open at Carnoustie.

"This works out perfectly," the American left-hander told reporters on the eve of the Loch Lomond tournament.

"Carnoustie being the Open site next week and this being so close, I was able to come to town, play some practice rounds at Carnoustie and still get here and be ready for this event."

Although Loch Lomond is not a links layout, Mickelson said the shot-making requirements were comparable at the two courses.

"I don't think they are that different," said the 37-year-old. "The courses certainly look different... but the shots required are similar.

"It is windy here and you need to keep the ball below the tree line and out of the wind, much like Carnoustie."

There was widespread criticism of Carnoustie in 1999 when the players toiled in the knee-high rough but Mickelson said British Open venues had improved in recent years.

"Ever since Peter Dawson has taken over (as chief executive of Open organisers the Royal & Ancient), the set up has been tremendous," said the three times major champion.

"It has been as good as it could possibly be. He's been wonderful for the R&A and the last six or seven years have been terrific."

Although Mickelson acknowledged Carnoustie was a testing proposition, he said there would be chances to make birdies.

"Carnoustie is hard and really challenging but there are also a lot of opportunities for the players to separate themselves with good play," he said.

"I've not played the British Open as well as I'd like so I still have to perfect my shotmaking over here. But that said I love being at these kinds of courses."

Mickelson added that his recent wrist injury was still not 100 percent but it should not affect him here or at Carnoustie.


July 12, 2007

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