PHIL Mickelson is a late but welcome addition to the field for the £2.5 million Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Castle Stuart after he asked for an invitation following his failure to make the halfway cut in this week’s PGA Tour event, the Greenbrier Classic.
It had been thought that the three-time Masters champion would be absent in Inverness after Barclays, one of his main sponsors, ended its sponsorship of the event after it was staged in the Highlands for the first time 12 months ago.
However, Mickelson’s decision to play after all appears to have been influenced by missing the cut in a low-scoring event in West Virginia after back-to-back 71s.
“We got a phone call last night from Phil’s management company saying he’d very much like to play at Castle Stuart,” Scottish Open tournament director Peter Adams told Scotland on Sunday last night. “They asked if we had any invitations left and we did. All the parties on the invitation committee were obviously unanimously in favour of Phil getting an invitation and he is a terrific addition to the field.”
Mickelson has been a regular Scottish Open supporter over the past decade and came close to claiming the title at Loch Lomond in 2007, when he lost to Frenchman Gregory Havret in a play-off.
Last year he shot rounds of 73, 67 and 69 to finish in a tie for 58th.
Tiger Woods missed the cut in the Greenbrier Classic by a stroke, following an opening 71 with a 69 to finish level par. He missed a cut for only the ninth time in his PGA Tour career, and for the third time in a tournament following a victory, having won last Sunday at Congressional. Woods was on a course he’d never seen before.