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October 24, 2013

Mickelson to scale back schedule to prep for U.S. Open

Posted at 12:20 PM by Coleman McDowell | Categories: Phil Mickelson, Pinehurst, U.S. Open
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Mickelson walks off the second green during the final round of the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

 

Phil Mickelson is tailoring his 2013-14 PGA Tour schedule for a run at completing the career Grand Slam with a victory at the U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2.

Speaking before the CIMB Classic in Malaysia, Mickelson reiterated fans might be seeing less of him in 2014. 

"There's no hiding the fact that winning the U.S. Open would be my career goal of completing the career Grand Slam, and that's the final leg that I have.  I'll be putting most of my focus into winning the U.S. Open, but I'm not going to skip the Masters and the importance that that event has because every green jacket is meaningful to me, as much as I love that tournament."

The five-time major champ played 22 events in '13 and tied for 54th at the Masters, claimed second-place at the U.S. Open, won the British Open and tied for 72nd at the PGA Championship.

"I'm not sure exactly how the schedule is going to play out this next year. I want to give myself opportunities to play and compete in the big tournaments, mainly saying the majors, and I'm putting less importance on other events.  So my whole purpose and focus will be gearing up, participating in certain tournaments that will help me play well in those majors."

Steve Stricker, who is only three years older than Mickelson, used a similiar strategy in 2013 and cut his event total down to 13 from 19. His first career major didn't come as a result, but Stricker finished the year with eight top-10 finishes and the lowest adjusted scoring average on tour.

"So a tournament that is taking place two months prior or after a major championship that has no impact on my ability to perform well in a major, those are tournaments that I won't put as much importance on. I know that I'm going to start cutting a certain percentage of events next year, and I'm not sure which ones those will be."

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