• "I've already won the Claret Jug," said the 46-year-old
• The American is one shot ahead of Henrik Stenson
PHIL MICKELSON | THE OPEN
Phil Mickelson says he’s feeling absolutely no pressure as he heads into the weekend of the Open Championship with a one-shot lead.
The 46-year-old followed up his near history making round of 63 with a two-under-par 69 on day two at Royal Troon – which at 132 broke the record for the lowest 36-hole total in an Open at the Ayrshire venue.
The bad news about that? The players whose record Mickelson broke – Bobby Clampett (1982) and Darren Clarke (1997) – both didn’t go on to win the tournament.
However, the American is brimming with confidence heading into his final two rounds and says he’s playing without pressure having already secured one Claret Jug back at Muirfield in 2013.
“I don't feel the pressure like probably a lot of players do to try to win the Claret Jug because I've already won it, and that takes a lot of pressure off me,” said Phil Mickelson. “The desire to capture that Claret Jug puts a lot of pressure on. The fact I've done it relieves some of that. I would love to add to it, but having already done that was big.”
If Mickelson converts the 36-hole lead, he’d become the oldest major winner in the modern era and, with his game as it is at the moment, sees no reason why he can’t keep on competing in the years to come.
“From ten years ago, when I was playing my best golf, I'm 25 pounds lighter, I'm in better shape and I'm physically stronger than I was,” he said. “I feel better and I'm playing, now that my swing is back on plane, I'm starting to hit some shots like I did ten years ago and starting to play some of my best golf again.
“So I don't see why there's any reason why I can't continue that not just this week but for years. That's kind of what the gameplan is.”
Henrik Stenson is currently Phil Mickelson’s nearest challenger on nine-under-par, while Soren Kjeldsen and Keegan Bradley are two shots further back on seven-under.
Phil Mickelson :: 2016 Open champ?
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