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Phil Mickelson says playoffs deserved break, with Tour Championship a week before Ryder Cup

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NORTON, Mass. - Phil Mickelson isn't a fan of four straight FedEx Cup playoff events that follows a summer of big events and precedes the Ryder Cup.

Mickelson thought about skipping the Deutsche Bank Championship this week. Instead, the five-time major champion showed up at the TPC Boston on Thursday and didn't even warm up before his pro-am round.

He had not touched a club since he missed the 54-hole cut Saturday at The Barclays.

"I'm in a bit of predicament, and the predicament is this," Mickelson said. "The tour does not own their four or five largest revenue-producing events. We don't own the majors or the Ryder Cup. The FedEx Cup is really our flagship event. As a player that has received so much from the PGA Tour, there's an obligation there to support the FedEx Cup. So I want to play and I want to there.

"The tough thing for me is I don't ever play a month in a row outside the West Coast where I'm living at home."

The crowded schedule for Mickelson began with his title defence of the Scottish Open and the British Open. After a short week off, the World Golf Championship was at Firestone, followed by the PGA Championship, and then after a week off, Mickelson faced four straight playoff events.

Maybe.

He is at No. 57 in the FedEx Cup, and only the top 70 reached the third playoff event next week at Cherry Hills in Denver. Mickelson won the 1990 U.S. Amateur at Cherry Hills. He and Furyk are the only players in the FedEx Cup to have competed there.

"I may not be in next week," Mickelson said. "I may not be in the Tour Championship, and I may not have to worry about playing four in a row. So we'll see."

Sergio Garcia (No. 15) and Justin Rose (No. 20) are taking off this week to rest. So is Graeme McDowell (No. 40), who is assured of being in Denver. McDowell's wife gave birth to their first child on Monday.

The Deutsche Bank Championship, for the top 100 in the FedEx Cup, has 93 players, its smallest field ever.

The PGA Tour, at the request of the PGA of America, stacked the playoff events together for a week off before the Ryder Cup on Sept. 26-28 in Scotland.

Four years ago, there was a week off between the BMW Championship and the Tour Championship, and then the U.S. team took a charter out of Atlanta to Wales.

"If it were up to me — which it isn't — I thought that the Tour Championship being the week before the Ryder Cup ... I mean, the charter is out of Atlanta, for crying out loud. Why don't we just go out of Atlanta? We would have had a week in between somewhere and just split them up. That's not how it worked out. I didn't have a say in that."

PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said last week the FedEx Cup would not be four straight weeks in a row after this year.

Mickelson prefers to play the week before major events, particularly in Europe so that he can get adjusted to the time change and get in a competitive frame of mind. He said he considered playing the Wales Open the week before the Ryder Cup but it didn't work out.

"This year it's been a rough schedule," he said.

Mickelson won the Deutsche Bank Championship in 2007 and said it's one of his favourite courses. But he said he would have skipped it if he were in better position in the FedEx Cup and was assured of being in Denver.

At least the end is near. Mickelson said he would play hard through the Ryder Cup and then not play again until 2014, which means he won't be playing overseas this year.

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