Phil Mickelson, Monday at Muirfield, playing with Scott Piercy in preparation for the 2013 Open Championship.
**Bob Harig taked to Mickelson after the practice round about the Scottish Open and also got this early scouting report on Muirfield:
"Tee to green, it's a great challenge. Some holes you have to go through the air and can't go on the ground."
Mickelson's playoff victory over Branden Grace on Sunday was his first in Europe since a 1993 victory in France at a tournament called Tournoi Perrier de Paris. He is credited with eight European Tour victories, which includes four major championships and three World Golf Championships. The French victory was a Challenge Tour win.
Nonetheless, the victory gives him a nice boost coming to the Open, where he has traditionally not fared very well. Mickelson has just two top-10s at the Open, a tie for second two years ago at Royal St. George's and a third in 2004 at Royal Troon. Eleven years ago, Mickelson finished tied for 66th at Muirfield and had not been back until Monday.
"It's very different," he said. "Much firmer and browner than in '02. Then it was lush, green and thick. And not anywhere as fast."
**Phil was asked about the shot today at Muirfield:
Q. The backwards shot you hit on the green in the practice round, did somebody challenge you to do that or how did you end up doing that?
PHIL MICKELSON: I haven't hit it in so long, I just looked at it and thought I'd give it a try. I didn't know anybody was filming. It was Jeff, I guess. I don't know, I'm just having fun. I love the shots we get to hit over here. Sometimes we can get a wedge that can -- you can hit forward off a level lie can almost go behind you when the wind is strong enough. Just having fun with shots around here is enjoyable. Hopefully I won't have to hit that shot this week, though.