- Bob Harig, Senior Golf Writer
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Phil Mickelson did a good bit of scrambling Friday, but it was off the course and after he had failed to make the 36-hole cut at the Greenbrier Classic.
Mickelson sought and received a last-minute sponsor's invitation to this week's Scottish Open at Castle Stuart, a surprise move given that Mickelson said nothing about it Friday to reporters after missing the cut in West Virginia.
The plan he said then was to head to Europe on Monday with his family and arrive Friday at Royal Lytham & St. Annes, site of the Open Championship in England, to begin preparations for the year's third major championship, which begins July 19.
"We got a phone call (Friday) night from Phil's management company saying he'd very much like to play at Castle Stuart," Scottish Open tournament director Peter Adams said 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."
The European Tour event last year moved from Loch Lomond near Glasgow to Castle Stuart, a new course in northern Scotland that has links-style qualities more suitable to preparing for the Open Championship.
Mickelson has been a frequent participant in the tournament in recent years because the event was sponsored by Barclays, one of his main sponsors. Mickelson also typically plays in the Barclays PGA Tour event and the Barclays Singapore Open.
But Barclays dropped its sponsorship after last year's Scottish Open, and the new sponsor is Aberdeen Asset Management. Mickelson lost in a playoff at the tournament in 2007, and last year tied for 58th before posting his best Open Championship finish, a tie for second behind winner Darren Clarke.
Mickelson is looking to find his form after shooting seven consecutive rounds over par on the PGA Tour, the longest streak of his 20-year career.