x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Mickelson laments 'tough conditions'

After only one top-10 finish in his first 16 appearances, Mickelson could do no better than level par for his first two rounds.

ST ANDREWS, Scotland // A frustrated Phil Mickelson was unable to improve on his dismal British Open record yet again. After only one top-10 finish in his first 16 appearances - he was third at Troon in 2004 - Mickelson could do no better than level par for his first two rounds at St Andrews. Needing a top-four finish to have a chance of toppling Tiger Woods as the world No 1, Mickelson completed his second-round 71 yesterday just before play was suspended because of strong winds.

"Conditions were tough," he said. "With winds this strong your putts from three feet are greatly affected, not to mention trying to make 10-or-12-footers with crosswinds. "But the balls didn't move on the green for us. I've played in the past where it has - I played one round in '03 at Sandwich when it moved six times on me on the putting green as I was addressing it. Twice I had actually put the club behind it and was penalised both times. I have seen it where it's been unplayable and it was OK when we played, just hard. I'm frustrated because I love this golf course and this tournament and I felt I was playing well coming in.

"I maybe had a poor deal with the weather, but I also played poorly. I think a lot can happen on the weekend, but [if he makes the cut] I've got to go out and shoot a low round and I don't know if the conditions will be conducive." * PA