Desperate times call for desperate measures — and for Phil Mickelson that meant having his management company make a call to the Scottish Open for an 11th-hour invite to Castle Stuart for a final tune-up before the Open Championship.
Usually Mickelson's on the receiving end of tournament invites, but following a missed cut at the Greenbrier Classic — his third straight poor start — he decided another start couldn't hurt.
There was just one problem: the tournament had closed entries on June 29th.
If the guy on the other line calling Scottish Open tournament director Peter Adams was managing a no-name pro, you can be sure the answer would have likely been a firm 'no'. But a four-time major winner and one of the most recognizable names in golf? Let's just say it didn't take long for an invite to magically appear.
"We got a phone call (Friday) night from Phil's management company saying he'd very much like to play at Castle Stuart," Adams told the newspaper Scotland on Sunday. "They asked if we had any invitations left and we did. All the parties on the invitation committee were obviously unanimously in favor of Phil getting an invitation and he is a terrific addition to the field."
While Mickelson isn't pressing the panic button just yet, his recent play is a slight cause for concern. The W/D at the Memorial, T-65 at the U.S. Open and missed cut at the Greenbrier represents the worst stretch of his season, so he's clearly looking for something positive before making the trek to Royal Lytham and St Annes.
The fact that he decided to play the week before the Open in Scotland, however, shouldn't come as a big shock. Mickelson has a long history with the Scottish Open, where he made his debut at the event in 1992 as an amateur, and has teed it up every year since 2003 (with the exception of 2006 and 2009).
He likely would've preferred to make the start on his own terms instead of cramming in one more due to an inconsistent game, but tournament officials could probably care less how he's playing coming into this week.
One of the top names in the game is going to be at Castle Stuart, and that's all that matters.