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Phil Mickelson warms up at Oakland Hills

Phil Mickelson spent more than three hours Tuesday dissecting the front nine at revamped Oakland Hills, site of the PGA Championship next week.

Mickelson last played at Oakland Hills as a member of the 2004 U.S. Ryder Cup team. Since then, the course has been lengthened by 400 yards, and tougher hazards and landing areas have been added.

“We’ve got a lot more work to do,” said Mickelson, who played under the guidance of short-game coach Dave Pelz.

Mickelson, ranked No. 2, is attempting to claim his first major since winning the Masters in 2006. This year, he tied for fifth at the Masters, tied for 18th at the U.S. Open and tied for 19th at the British Open.

Rick Bayliss, chief operating officer at Oakland Hills, said the tougher design was “more appropriate” to match the skills of PGA Tour players.

“It’s a different golf course,” Bayliss said.

Adam Scott had never played the course, so he didn’t experience many surprises during his four-hour practice round with Geoff Ogilvy.

The fourth-ranked Scott is coming off a 16th-place finish at the British Open. The PGA Championship run Aug. 7-10.

“I got a good look today,” the Australian said. “Because it was quiet, we could spend as much time as we wanted out there. I think it’s all about learning the greens a bit. With the greens being so severe, you get a good picture in your mind of what the greens are (like).”

 

July 30, 2008




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