Mickelson intends to Cherry-pick Tour finale spot

Phil Mickelson during the 2014 Deutsche Bank Championship in the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup playoffs.

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NORTON, Mass. – On the strength of a 4-under 67 in Monday's final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship, Phil Mickelson will head to Denver for the BMW Championship, the third event in the FedEx Cup playoffs, at Cherry Hills Country Club.

Mickelson calls Cherry Hills, where he won the 1990 U.S. Amateur, beating Manny Zerman, 5 and 4, one of his favorite golf courses.

“I had some success there, and I've always loved playing at that altitude (about 5,400 feet) and playing the golf course there,” Mickelson said. “I have a picture of every hole painted in my mind from 24 years ago, and I'm so excited to go back there.”

Mickelson will see a different Cherry Hills, which was renovated in 2008. The 1923 William S. Flynn design is No. 75 on the Golfweek's Best Classic Courses list.

The next step on the road to the Tour Championship at Atlanta's East Lake Golf Club will be harder for Mickelson, who is projected to be in the mid-50s on the points list. He likely would need to finish among the top 3 at the BMW to make the 30-man cut for the Tour finale.

“I'm not disappointed with the way I'm hitting the ball or putting or anything,” said Mickelson, 44, who is No. 10 in the Official World Golf Ranking but has not won since the 2013 Open Championship. “I'm just not really focused that well. But I'm hopeful that next week at Cherry Hills is a course that I've been looking forward to going back to for years since they announced it. I’m really looking forward to getting back there, and so my motivation is extremely high to go play well there.”

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