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Mickelson wins British Open warmup

Phil Mickelson took a giant step closer to British Oepn contention, with his first ever victory on UK soil at the Scottish Open at Castle Stuart in Inverness.

Lefty has never won the only major played outside of the U.S., although he has had a runner-up spot before, and he tends to struggle mightily on links across the Atlantic.

Despite finally ending that jinx on Sunday, he didn't make it easy for himself as he three-putted the 18th to force a play-off with Branden Grace of South Africa, despite having gone into the final hole with a one stroke lead.

Fortunately for the popular Mickleson, who had the backing of the Moray course crowd, he only need one hole to claim victory. An effervescent display of iron play culminated in a superb chip, leading to an easy tap-in for birdie; Grace was unable to respond or match the 43-year-old's class.

"I almost let it slide away today but to come out on top means a lot," Mickelson told Sky Sports.

"I've been coming here for quite some time. I was so mad at myself for mentally losing my focus ... I came out on that 18th hole (playoff) and refocused."

The 43-year-old will now hope to take this form south, as he journeys to East Lothian and Muirfield for the British Open, due to take place on Thursday.

"Although I did a lot of things well, I have certainly things to work on," he added. "Today was great for us to have this type of weather."

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