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Page last updated at 18:44 GMT, Friday, 9 July 2010 19:44 UK

Phil Mickelson misses rankings boost at Scottish Open

Barclays Scottish Open, Loch Lomond, 8-11 July
Coverage: Live on BBC TV, Red Button, BBC Sport website and BBC Radio Scotland, with updates on BBC Radio 5 live Full coverage details

Golfer Phil Mickelson
Mickelson takes shelter from the rain at Loch Lomond

By Clive Lindsay
BBC Scotland at Loch Lomond

Phil Mickelson masked any disappointment he felt at failing to take over as world number one after missing the cut at the Scottish Open.

The 40-year-old had to finish in the top two at Loch Lomond to end Tiger Woods' 265-week reign at the top of the rankings.

But he will now concentrate on next week's Open after his second round was ruined with a horrendous nine on the 18th for a three-over-par total.

"I haven't really thought about it," Mickelson said when asked if the pressure of leapfrogging his fellow American had told.

"I'm trying to get ready for the British Open and get ready for St Andrews, get my game sharpened and this first two days gave me the opportunity to see where it needs some work."

Mickelson admitted that his game did, indeed, need some honing after adding a 74 to his opening 71.

I need a little work with the driver and some of my short irons can be improved

World number two Phil Mickelson

However, he thought that, apart from driving twice into the water for a four-stroke penalty that led to his nine at what was the ninth hole of his round, there were positive signs.

"I started to putt a little better," he said. "I need a little work with the driver and some of my short irons can be improved.

"I wanted to get a couple more competitive rounds, but the plus side would be I'll have a couple extra rounds on St Andrews."

Mickelson will now head to Fife for the weekend and fellow big names Ernie Els and Colin Montgomerie are among the others who can now concentrate on the Open.

World number six Els, who also finished three over after a 76, said: "It's not what I wanted to do, believe me, but I just got fed up with fighting my swing all day.

"I was a late entry into this tournament. I came here because I love it here, but this is probably the worst round I've ever played here.

"I was a bit rusty. I had two weeks off and my swing is not quite there - and I've got a couple of days now to get it fixed and be ready for St Andrews."

European Ryder Cup captain Montgomerie described his own play as "terrible" after successive 74s.

"I'll go to St Andrews Saturday or Sunday, Sunday probably, and see if I can get something going, because I missed far too many putts," said the Scot.

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see also
Gallacher happy to stay in touch
09 Jul 10 |  Golf
Ishikawa mania comes to Scotland
09 Jul 10 |  Golf
Gallacher in rude health
08 Jul 10 |  Golf

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