Pros advice

Phil Mickelson set to play British Open without a driver in his bag

Phil Mickelson has made the head-scratching decision to leave his golf drivers at home for the next two events he’s set to play in – at Royal Birkdale and Torrey Pines respectively.

Mickelson carried only the 3-wood with him during his practice round on Tuesday at the British Open, and plans to keep it that way when the tournament gets underway.

"We won't be playing in this wind," Mickelson said after finishing his round.

"And when we get the normal wind, there really isn't a driver for me until we get to 15. And then that brings the bunkers into play."

This, remember, is the same man who once carried two drivers in his bag at the Masters, although he didn’t use a driver in the 2008 US Open at Torrey Pines. On that occasion, he performed poorly, becoming more of a fleeting figure, and finished five shots off the play-off places. Tiger Woods would be the winner that year after overcoming the challenge of Rocco Mediate.

Mickelson has opted to bring four wedges, including a 64-degree sand wedge, that he can use for flop shots off tight lies on a links course. He also has two 3-irons, one of them with the loft tweaked to make it a strong, driving club.

The 3-wood is the same club he had when he won the British Open at Muirfield in 2013, his last victory.

"It's a much easier club for me to hit low," Mickelson said on Golf Channel. "So even into the wind, I hit it every bit as far as I hit a driver."



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