Mickelson confirms his place at Loch Lomond

THREE years after losing a play-off for the title, Phil Mickelson is returning to the Barclays Scottish Open this summer as the Masters champion.

Just over a fortnight after clinching his third Green Jacket at Augusta National, the world No2 has confirmed his entry for the Loch Lomond event on 8-11 July.

"Returning to Loch Lomond for the Barclays Scottish Open is always a special week for me," said Mickelson, who was first lured to Loch Lomond by Lyle Anderson, the former owner, and last played there in 2008, the year after he was pipped for the top prize by Frenchman Gregory Havret in a play-off.

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"Everything about the tournament, from the sponsors, to the golf course and the stunning setting at Loch Lomond is as good as it gets in golf.

"I am proud to be associated with the event."

Mickelson, who claimed the fourth major of his career as he emerged victorious at the end of a thrilling opening major to the season, added: "I would love to add the Barclays Scottish Open to my list of career wins: to be successful in Scotland, the home of golf, is something that every player would love to have on his resume and I am no different.

"I have been close to winning the Barclays Scottish Open in the past, and it would be great to go one better than in 2007, when I narrowly missed out on the trophy in a play-off."

Mickelson, a winner of 44 titles around the world, is the first leading light to commit to this year's event but is expected to be joined in the field by some other stellar names in the coming weeks.

They are likely to include Martin Kaymer, who claimed the title at Loch Lomond last year, making it a back-to-back triumph for the young German after he had also won the French Open the previous week.

There are few more exciting draws in golf than Mickelson, a point he proved emphatically at Augusta.

The 39-year-old produced some mesmeric shot-making over the final two rounds, with his unbelievable eagle-eagle-birdie run on the Saturday afternoon helping him to a third-round 67 that hauled him into contention and a final-round showdown with Englishman Lee Westwood.

Mickelson followed up his Saturday heroics with a sterling, bogey-free 67 in the final round, and his miraculous approach to the par-5 13th – a 6-iron from the Augusta pine needles that flew through a gap between two trees and soared over Rae's Creek to just four feet – was the perfect summation of his powers as he captured his latest Masters title.

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Fans hoping to catch a glimpse of Mickelson's genius at Loch Lomond can purchase discounted tickets at: www. barclaysscottishopen.co.uk.