Reuters - Wed, 07 Jul 17:09:00 2010
Phil Mickelson is on the verge of deposing Tiger Woods as world number one but the American is more interested in sharpening his driving before the start of next week's Open.
Mickelson could overtake Woods, who is taking this week off to be with his children, even if he finishes second at this week's Scottish Open but the four-times major winner does not want to get sidetracked by the ranking scenario.
"World number one would be cool but it's not something I think about yet," Mickelson said on Wednesday at Loch Lomond, the day before the Scottish Open first round. "I'm just trying to get my game sharp.
"One of the things I think gives a player a great advantage (at St Andrews) and I've seen it in the three Opens I've played - Tiger has won twice and Daly the third - is that length is a factor. The further you are able to carry the ball, the more bunkers you are able to eliminate.
"So one of the main things I've been working on for my preparation for St Andrews is trying to swing the club head faster because I feel the driver is going to be a key club there."
The 40-year-old Californian, bidding to add to his US
Masters triumph in April, will not, though, be using his long driver.
"Into the wind it's a little tough to swing it with control," added Mickelson. "But I will be swinging much harder at the ball than I would normally in a number of Open championships, where you're trying to keep the ball on a tighter fairway.
"St Andrews, I feel, you have enough room to play off the tee and you have endless options and opportunities on how you want to play each hole."
Mickelson pulled out of last year's Open at Turnberry to be with his wife and mother who were both suffering from cancer but he is now determined to make up for lost time "I think the best way to get in playing condition for the Open is to compete on Sunday for the title here," said Mickelson.