Phil Mickelson may not have the same touch around the greens that he had in his heyday as a short-game wizard, but don’t tell that to the defending champion at this week’s Scottish Open. The 43-year-old five-time major winner can still do things with a left-handed wedge in his hands that others dare not even dream about, as you’ll see in this video from his practice round on Tuesday (h/t Royal Aberdeen member Sean Slattery via John Strege):
Mickelson may face no stouter competition from the elements at Royal Aberdeen, but then there are those seeking to deny him a return appearance in the winner’s circle. Should Lefty prevail over a talent-rich field of 23 of the top 60 in the world and 10 major champions, including 2013 U.S. Open winner Justin Rose and two-time major titleholder Rory McIlroy, he would become the first golfer to go back-to-back in the run-up to the British Open.
Oh, and that specialty shot by Phil the Thrill? It’s a little magic he’s honed to perfection on the steep dunes that populate U.K. links tracks. Here he is a Muirfield last year, just days before his first ever Open win.
As Brendan Porath noted last year about this time, it would be pretty cool if Mickelson actually had to reach into his bag of tricks for the same play this week or next at Hoylake.