Mickelson ready for Memphis tune-up

Phil Mickelson will use tthe FedEx St. Jude Classic in Memphis, Tennessee as his final warm-up tournament for the US Open.

At last year’s tournament at TPC Southwind, the five-time major winner finished in second place behind Harris English and was the runner-up to Justin Rose at the US Open at Merion the following week.

A victory at Pinehurst next week would make the popular left-hander only the sixth man in history after Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods to win each of the four majors at least once, but has already finished in second place a record six times at the US Open.

In search of some form after a disappointing run of results on the PGA Tour so far this year, he spent some time at Pinehurst’s number two course before heading to Memphis for this week’s tournament.

“I would have liked to have better performances this year. I need to get four good rounds and get some momentum for next week,” Mickelson told reporters after his Pro-am round Wednesday.

“I love this golf course as a preparation for next week. The areas around the greens, which are critical next week at Pinehurst, are very similar here.

“You have the low cut Bermuda grass with the grain cut into you. We have a lot of delicate chip shots, it’s really a great place to get ready and I’m happy I am here.

“I think it greatly lifted my chances last year heading to the Open and I hope it is the same again.

“I need to finish off the rounds. I feel like I’m hitting good shots. I have to finish the rounds off and shoot a number. I don’t feel like the parts are off, but the score has been off,” he said.

“I have to just stay sharp, salvage shots, fight through each round and see if I can finish strong.

“Last week I finished a lot of the rounds very poorly and now I have to get some momentum for next week and the best way to do that is to shoot low numbers.
“I think there is a chance to go low here.”

Joining him in Memphis this week is last year’s winner English, 2012 winner Dustin Johnson as well as former US Open winners Graeme McDowell (2010) and Webb Simpson (2012).