Phil Mickelson admits it will be “cool” if he ends his long wait to become the World Number One by winning the Scottish Open this week.
The popular American knows a win or second-placed finish at Loch Lomond will finally end Tiger Woods’incredible 607 weeks at the summit of world golf.
Mickelson has been the closest challenger for 253 weeks of Woods’time at the top but insists he is focussing on his own game - and will let the rankings take care of themselves
“It will be cool, “ Mickelson admitted.
“But it’s not something I really think about as yet. I am just trying to get my game sharp and if I play well, then the results will happen.
“It will be cool just to win here. I’ve come so close here a couple of times. Winning here and becoming number one, would be as a result of playing well. That’s my main focus.”
The 40-year-old has arrived in Scotland at the start of a massive two weeks in the golfing calendar. While the spectacular setting of Loch Lomond make this a must-see event, the main focus will come next week when the Open Championship celebrates its 150th anniversary at St. Andrews.
The four-time major winner — who won the US Masters for a second time earlier this year — is hopeful a good finish this week will set him up nicely for his visit to the home of golf.
He added: “I am really looking forward to the next two weeks. But I don’t see this event as just a warm up.
“The best preparation for the Open is to get into contention here and be challenging on Sunday.
“Having been close here before I’d like to win it now.
“I really enjoy this tournament and next week of course at the Open. I have had dreams of winning the Open since I came over for my first one at Royal Birkdale in 1991.
“It’s a tournament I want to win, regardless of the setting. But I’ve heard Jack Nicklaus say that there is nothing more gratifying than winning an Open at St Andrews.”
Mickelson’s best result in an Open Championship was his second-placed finish at Royal Troon in 2004. But despite some indifferent performances in the past, the left-hander feels he is ready to make an impact this year. “It’s not a puzzle why I haven’t done so well.” he said.
“Earlier in my career I didn’t have the technique to win an Open. I was coming into the ball too steeply and I was getting too much spin.
“Taking the spin of the ball has been a big factor for me. Since 2004 that has been a big thing and I feel now that I should be contending. Every time since then I go into the event and feel I have a chance of winning.
“I have also struggled with the greens and that has been the biggest area. I’ve not had a great time in the greens. If I can get that right, then I have a chance.”