Mickelson to defend Scottish Open title

Phil Mickelson announced that he will defend his title in the Aberdeen Asset Scottish Open next July at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club, where he won this year a week before claiming his first Open Championship at Muirfield.

Each of the last three winners of the Open, including Darren Clarke in 2011 and Ernie Els in 2012, played in the Scottish Open the week before.

Coincidentally, all three were over 40 when they claimed the oldest championship in the world.

“Winning the Scottish Open was a huge factor in my success the next week at the Open Championship,” Mickelson said in a statement. “I was able to acclimate myself to the time change, the weather, the wind, the links conditions and all in the heat of serious competition, which itself was a big added plus.”

Mickelson plans to scale back his schedule next season, but will continue his routine of playing the week before the majors, because he says he feels rusty early in the Grand Slam events if he does not.

The Open Championship will be played next year on July 17-20 at Royal Liverpool in Hoylake, England, where Tiger Woods won the title in 2006 by two strokes over Els, Chris DiMarco, Jim Furyk and Sergio Garcia.

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