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Phil Mickelson tuning up for the U.S. Open

June 08, 2013|By David Wharton
  • Phil Mickelson hits his second shot on the par-three 11th hole during the second round of the St. Jude Classic on Friday.
Phil Mickelson hits his second shot on the par-three 11th hole during the… (Andy Lyons / Getty Images )

Phil Mickelson didn't seem too concerned about being eight shots behind leader Harris English entering Saturday's third round of the St. Jude Classic in Memphis, Tenn.

Mickelson has his eyes on a bigger prize.

"This is a good thing for me to try to continue to play better each day in the tournament," he said. "I think that's why I enjoy the competing element before a big event like the U.S. Open next week."

A lot of marquee players are taking a break, choosing to rest this week and prepare for Merion. Mickelson, who started Saturday's round with a bogey to drop to one under par, sees TPC Southwind as a reasonable tune-up.

"It's a tough golf course that you have to be careful on," he said. "There's water. The rough is challenging.  [If] you miss fairways, you're struggling for par right from the start."

For his part, English was happy to be atop the leaderboard no matter how many recognizable names were missing. 

"I know I'm not well known right now," he said. "I really don't want to be well known."


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