Mickelson motivated for St Andews

European Tour

After a fairly disappointing showing at Royal Liverpool, Phil Mickelson vows to be back fighting at St Andrews next year.

The lefty arrived at The Open as the defending champion and much was expected of him following a rather lackluster season.

However, after a two over 74 opening round, the 2014 edition of the tournament was more than likely going to have a new champion.

Mickelson did, however, improve and he will be buoyed by his four under 68 in the final round on Sunday at Hoylake.

“I thought I played well today,” added Mickelson, who carded five birdies in the final round.

“I didn’t give any shots away and I shot what I thought I should shoot out there. It was a solid round of four under and it was a good way for me to get a little bit of confidence.

“I didn’t score as well as I could but I played as well as I could, so my game’s not too far off. But to win this tournament you need to not only play great golf but have a few breaks and some luck.”

Mickelson would finish on five under for the tournament, tied for 23rd. He was 12 shots off the pace set by winner Rory McIlroy.

“It is disappointing but it is also a good motivating factor for me,” said the 44-year-old.

“Knowing how great it felt to win this tournament makes me want to work harder and get ready for St Andrews next year. I can’t think of a better site, or golf course, to win any tournament ever than St Andrews.

“To have the Open back there is a great opportunity and I will be working hard to try to get it back.”

Meanwhile, due to his poor season, Mickleson remains outside automatic qualification for the United Sates Ryder Cup team.

While he can still make the team if captain Tom Watson (who went around royal Liverpool one over par) names him as a wildcard pick, Mickleson wants to win a spot outright.

“It does matter to me – it has been 19 years now where I have made it on my own,” he said.

“It is a record of consistency to play that well, to make it without being a pick, and I’d like to keep that streak going.

“I can’t really control the points too much but if I play like I did this week at Akron (Bridgestone Invitational) and the (US) PGA (Championship) I’ll be fine, I’ll be on it.

“It will be beneficial for both me and Tom if I can do it on my own. If I don’t get in on my own I don’t know if I’ll have played well enough this year to deserve a spot. You want players who are hot and playing well, and I need to step up and do that.”

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