MICKELSON HOPES TO GET THINGS RIGHT AT BARCLAYS SINGAPORE OPEN
Singapore: Four-time Major champion Phil Mickelson of the United States hopes to return to his best form at the Barclays Singapore Open after a lacklustre performance last week.
Mickelson, nicknamed “Lefty” is determined to bounce back from last week’s tied 41st placing in Shanghai but will be challenged by an elite field that includes Major champions Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland and Martin Kaymer of Germany at the Sentosa Golf Club.
Italian Francesco Molinari, who won in Shanghai last week, title holder Ian Poulter of England, Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee, a three-time Asian Tour Order of Merit champion and Asia’s first Major winner Yang Yong-eun will also be in the mix at the US$6 million event co sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour.
Mickelson, who won his fourth Major tournament at The Masters in April is making his fourth appearance at the Barclays Singapore Open and believes he can put in a good performance and shoot for glory in his last event of the year.
“I didn’t play the best last week but I seem to play better the second week of my two week stretch and hope to put it together this week. This is my last week. I haven’t played the way I liked to this year other than the win in Augusta.
“My challenge the last two years was to learn about the greens. I continue to learn about the greens better and better and the speeds are a little bit quicker this year so I’m optimistic and have high expectations about this week,” said Mickelson who is ranked fourth in the world.
He was also delighted with the vast development of golf in Asia.
“There are a lot of people playing golf in Singapore and Asia now and it is exciting to see the game grow because in the United States, it has not been growing and staying the same if not declining. This game has given and means a lot to me and to see it grow throughout the world is very meaningful to me,” said Mickelson.
Ranked third in the world, Kaymer, who won the US PGA Championship followed by two victories in Europe, believes he is in fine form coming into this week’s tournament.
“It is an interesting golf course, not a lot of drivers but a lot of irons and three woods. I think the long iron hitters are at a bit of an advantage this week so you have to be a good iron player. In general it is a big tournament, a lot of world ranking points are at stake and I’m looking forward to the week,” said Kaymer, who is currently leading The Race to Dubai rankings.
European Ryder Cup star McDowell, fresh from his victory in Spain two weeks ago, hopes to keep a cool head and better his last year’s tied fifth finish.
“I’m trying to think of the last time I’ve played in a heat like this and it could well be in Singapore at this tournament last year. You really have to go out there and conserve the energy a little. It is definitely hot and you’ve got to keep the fluids onboard and try to stay tough for the weekend,” said the world number ten.
McDowell’s confidence is soaring after winning the U.S. Open this year and clinching the winning points for Team Europe at the Ryder Cup.
“I’ve certainly improved as a player, improved mentally, technically and I’ve got a little more belief in myself to feel that I can go to any golf tournament in the world and compete,” he added.
Asian Tour GolfGreedy.com