Yes, Phil Mickelson was installed as the second favourite behind Tiger Woods coming into Open Championship week, but that was mostly because of a win the week prior against a lesser quality field in Scotland at Castle Stuart, a course that several players, Graeme McDowell most notably, decided to avoid as they declared it not being good preparation for the Open.
Golf has always been a game about comfort, whether we’re talking about a swing, apparel or a course. Every player has favourite and least favourite venues. Woods has won eight times at Torrey Pines, Steve Stricker loves TPC Deere Run and Mickelson hates links golf. In 19 previous Opens, Mickelson had finished inside the top-10 only twice, an astonishingly low number considering his vast skill set, and it’s something he’s well aware of too, noting that he’s just never seemed to figure it all out.