July 21, 2018 / 5:17 PM / a year ago

Golf-Mickelson aims to take 'baby steps' to cure Carnoustie blues

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland, July 21 (Reuters) - Phil Mickelson lamented his indifferent Carnoustie displays after carding a one-under 70 at the British Open on Saturday, saying he needed to take “baby steps” to boost his self-belief at the fiendish Scottish links.

The five-times major winner chalked up four birdies in the third round but his progress was stymied by a bogey at the par-five sixth hole and further mishaps at the ninth and 17th.

At least the 48-year-old American safely made the cut this week, something he had failed to do in his two previous Open appearances at Carnoustie.

“This course hasn’t been good to me over the years,” Mickelson told reporters after signing for a one-under tally of 212. “I have not played well.

“The last two rounds are the first two rounds I’ve shot under par here ... so baby steps.”

Mickelson was in outstanding form at the start of 2018 but his performances have dipped in recent weeks.

“The game’s just hard for me right now,” he said. “I don’t feel like I’m playing bad but it’s not coming as easy as it did (in) the first part of the year.”

Mickelson reeled off four top-10 finishes before securing the first prize of $1.7 million at the WGC-Mexico Championship in March.

The American’s form has dipped, however, with only one top-10 arriving since then.

“I’ve had a phenomenal putting year. It’s just I haven’t putted well (in) the last month,” said Mickelson. “I’ll get it figured out because I’ve been putting too well for too long.” (Editing by Neville Dalton)

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