'Sure, I love talking about my losses...' LIV Golf's Phil Mickelson in tense exchange with reporter

'It's not making me feel any better either way' LIV Golf star Phil Mickelson locked in awkward exchange with reporter in Andalucia, Spain.

Phil Mickelson
Phil Mickelson

Phil Mickelson was locked in a tense exchange with a reporter when asked to cast his mind back to his near-miss to Henrik Stenson at the 2016 Open last time out at Royal Troon. 

Mickelson, 54, might have tumbled down the world rankings to a current 203rd as a result of his $200m move to LIV Golf in 2022, but the six-time major champion is eligible to compete in next week's 152nd Open Championship at Troon as a result of having etched his name on the famous Claret Jug at Muirfield in 2013. 

Speaking ahead of LIV Golf Andalucia this week, Lefty was asked by a reporter to throw it back eight years to that final-day tussle with Stenson.

Mickelson shot 65 but Stenson went even better with a 63.

Related: Mickelson speaks of 'surprise' at Bradley Ryder Cup captaincy

The Swede, who is now also on LIV Golf, finished the week on 20-under par and three shots clear of Mickelson.

The duo spreadeagled the field with JB Holmes 11 shots back of Mickelson in third. 

It still pains Mickelson to this day that he played as well as he did only to fail in his bid for a second Open title. 

Scroll down for Mickelson's awkward exchange about Troon with a reporter...

Mickelson is still gutted about his Troon loss in 2016
Mickelson is still gutted about his Troon loss in 2016

That was evident when a reporter said: "Can I take you back to Troon?"

Mickelson, who recently admitted he may soon retire from the sport, replied: "Sure, I love talking about my losses. Go ahead..."

The reporter then said: "On that Sunday morning, if somebody told you you were going to get a 65 and not win, what would you have thought?"

Mickelson replied: "I wouldn't have thought it was right. I thought I played a great final round, well enough to win, and it just wasn't. Like I said, I played some of my best golf and it wasn't enough to win, which is the first time I can remember that being the case, and I thought 65 for sure would be enough."

The reporter came back with: "So is it your proudest defeat, if that sounds right?"

Mickelson replied through gritted teeth: "I mean we keep framing my losses in different ways. It's not making me feel any better either way.

"Like I said, it's more the process, and having that opportunity to play great golf. To go head-to-head with somebody I have so much respect for; even though I still came up short I have this great life experience and this great memory and this great competition to look back on.

"I mean, I loved the week. I loved playing like that. I want it play like that again. That's why I'm working hard. I love competing and having a chance to win like that. Even though I came up short, I thought it was a lot of fun to be a part of that."

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