Golf: Lefty develops a convenient case of Open amnesia

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By Associated Press

SANDWICH, England (AP) — Let's all welcome a newcomer to the British Open ... Mr. Phil Mickelson of the United States.

Uhh, come again?

Lefty is hardly an Open rookie. When he tees off Thursday, it will be his 18th appearance in golf's oldest major, which makes him one of the more experienced players in the field.

But Mickelson has developed a convenient case of amnesia this week, preferring to ignore a record that includes only one top-10 finish and more time scuffling than actually contending for the claret jug.

"I'm entering this year kind of like a fresh start," he said Tuesday. "I'm not going to worry about past performances. I'm going to try to learn and enjoy the challenge of playing links golf. I'm having fun doing that. I'm trying to pretend like it's my first time here."

This is classic Mickelson. Over the years, he's talked of the need to be more aggressive. Unless he was talking about being more patient. Or more reckless. Or more thoughtful.

Now, he just wants to forget.

While Mickelson is one of the most imaginative players around the green, his longer clubs have never been much of a fit for links golf. He prefers a game built on towering shots hit with precision, the sort of style that works so well on the PGA Tour.

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