Phil Mickelson to play British Open at Royal Birkdale with no driver 
Instead of bringing the big stick, Phil Mickelson has four wedges, including a 64-degree sand wedge that he can use for flop shots off tight lies on a links course. AP

SOUTHPORT, England — Royal Birkdale and Torrey Pines would seem to have nothing in common except that Phil Mickelson is playing major championships on both without a driver in his bag.

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

"We won't be playing in this wind," Mickelson said as he finished up his round with a light blowing toward the Irish Sea. "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."

Mickelson, who once had two drivers in his bag at the Masters, didn't hit a driver in the 2008 US Open at Torrey Pines. He wasn't much of a factor that week and finished five shots out of the playoff that Tiger Woods won over Rocco Mediate.

Mickelson instead has 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 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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