Phil Mickelson candid in wide-ranging media session at Scottish Open

Phil Mickelson plays a practice round at Gullane on Tuesday

Mickelson was practising at Gullane on Tuesday but stayed away from the course on Wednesday

On a day when nearly 100 players broke par, five-time major champion Phil Mickelson, who won the 2013 British Open at nearby Muirfield, could only manage a level-par 70. And the reason why this has actually been easier is it was my own fault. The articles and the backlash is my own fault.

When Phil Mickelson finished his opening round at the Scottish Open at Gullane on Thursday he looked at the media pack awaiting his arrival into the mixed zone and cracked a joke.

Phil Mickelson conceded he does a lot of "dumb stuff" after speaking at length for the first time about his controversial penalty during the US Open. "I'm pleased that I managed to turn out a good score and had some things go my way to help me do that".

'It was a big mistake that I wish I could take back but all I can do now is try to act a little better, ' said Mickelson, 48. So I'm working at trying to fix that. So it's much easier to deal with.

It was a contrite Mickelson who appeared on this occasion after a first-round 70 left him a distant seven shots off the lead held by fellow American Luke List, with a sizeable gathering on 64 led by Rickie Fowler - victor of this title the last time it was the tournament was played here in 2015 - and Lee Westwood. "I keep doing stuff like that". I have these moments where it's like I'm in a cloud and I'm not really sure what I'm doing'.

But the very next week, after pundits and fellow players had opined that he should have been disqualified, Mickelson sent a select group of USA journalists a short text message, saying "I'm sorry" and that he was "embarrassed and disappointed by my actions".

"It took me days [to calm down]". So it was just not a great day, and it was my birthday. It was my birthday and I tend to do dumb stuff on my birthday'.

"It was incredible. I was really excited with my time there because I think I got to see Carnoustie for its greatness, and it's firm and fast, and the bunkers were in play and very hard to avoid".

"I wasn't nervous. I didn't know that I should be, " he said. "I have been a little bit busy".

Mickelson also revealed that his potential $10m (£7.5m) shootout with Tiger Woods is "close to having some stuff finalised", but that he and Woods would not be putting up the money themselves. I hope this was the iffy one. 'Nice shot, Gareth, ' came the cries from the gallery.

"I watched every minute [of the semi-final] and am obviously gutted with the result but not disappointed with their performance".

He was followed by five players in a tie for second; Rickie Fowler, Lee Westwood, Robert Rock, Scott Fernandez of Spain, and Jens Dantorp of Sweden.

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