Phil Won’t Carry a Driver at The Open


In what probably could be the least surprising thing you’ll hear today, Phil Mickelson is contemplating playing this week’s Open Championship at Royal Birkdale Golf Club without a driver. Lefty told the media on Tuesday that he doesn’t foresee carrying the big stick, but instead, is thinking about replacing it with a 64-degree wedge. Classic Phil.

The five-time major winner also said he’ll be rekindling an old flame with his “hot” Callaway 3-wood which he used in his triumphant 2013 Open win at Muirfield, ironically also when he went sans driver. According to Mickelson, the prototype fairway metal reduces spin so he can flight the ball down and hit flatter, running shots. 

Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard has the full report on what may or may not be in Phil’s bag this week:

Mickelson arrived early on Tuesday to tinker with a modified 3-iron, a Callaway Epic model, that has been bent to 16 degrees, which is closer to a 2-iron loft.

He also had a 3-iron in the bag with standard loft as well as his normal 3-wood during his practice round with Jon Rahm, Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas.


“We came out here and spent Saturday and Sunday in the conditions and the winds that we’re going to see, and there really wasn’t a driver even potentially until we got to 15 for me, the way I felt I wanted to play the golf course and avoid the bunkers,” Mickelson said.

“I’ve been really working on hitting that 3-iron head-high, and getting it down quick. It’s been something I’ve been working on the last couple weeks, and that shot’s not going to be affected by weather.”

According to Mickelson’s caddie, his brother Tim, Lefty has his driver with him and could add it to his bag depending on conditions, which will become increasingly more windy as the championship heads into the weekend.

“I really hope that the weather comes in and we can all experience what The Open Championship is famous for. It looks like that’s going to happen,” Mickelson said. “If that happens, I believe that the ability to get the ball on the ground, avoid bunkers, use short game and get up and down could really be a factor to help get up in the leaderboard and in contention.”

As a reminder, Mickelson will also be without his longtime caddie Jim “Bones” Mackay who will be working as an on-course reporter for NBC. What a world! 

The 146th Open Championship kicks off Thursday at 1:30 a.m. EST on Golf Channel. 

[Golf Channel]


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