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Despite his struggles, Phil Mickelson would like to see the Open return to Hoylake. (Photo: Getty Images)
Despite his struggles, Phil Mickelson would like to see the Open return to Hoylake. (Photo: Getty Images)

Sunday pin positions were challenging, says Mickelson

After finishing up at 5-under 283, Phil Mickelson described the pin placements as very difficult, but stopped short of criticizing them. And though disappointed with his week, he said he learned a lot about how to prepare for next year.

HOYLAKE, England (PA) -- Phil Mickelson described the final-day pin positions at the Open Championship on Sunday as "very challenging," but stopped short of criticizing them.

The world No. 2 carded a round of 2-under 70 to finish a disappointing 5-under 283 for the tournament, and finished tied for 22nd.

Conditions on the fourth day were probably the most difficult of the week, with the wind at its strongest, and tricky hole positions made scoring more difficult.

"The pin positions were very challenging. That would be putting it nice," said the Masters champion.

When asked whether they were bordering on the unfair, the left-hander said: "That is not my call but they were very difficult."

Mickelson, 36, had stated his intention to put in a good final round, and though he was happy with his game in general, he felt his putter let him down.

"It went fine. I shot a couple under and hit the ball very well," he added. "I didn't get the ball in the hole, but the golf course played very tough. When I putt well I seem to have chances to win, and I seemed to struggle on the greens this week."

The American put in a lot of practice ahead of this week at Hoylake, but he accepted he still had things to work on.

"I learned a lot about how I'm going to prepare next year," he said. "I'm going to make a couple of adjustments, but the biggest thing is I need to putt well and get the ball in the hole."

Mickelson also gave his backing to the Royal Liverpool Club -- back in the Open rota after 39 years -- to continue staging the event.

"It is a wonderful golf course and it has shown really well this week," he said. "It is a terrific layout, a wonderful golf course and I think it has proven itself as a worthy championship venue."

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