SANTA CLARA (AFP) - Michael Phelps won the 200m backstroke at the Santa Clara Grand Prix on Saturday as former world record-holder Ryan Lochte skipped the final to focus on the 400m medley. Phelps, whose eight Olympic gold medals at Beijing did not include the 200m backstroke, said he enjoyed tackling a different event. Phelps, who has endured an erratic season, led the entire way and touched the wall more than 3 seconds ahead of Australian Mitchell Larkin in 1min 57.05sec. "It's fun. Just being able to get in the water and do something different every now and then is good," said Phelps, owner of 14 Olympic gold medals overall. While Phelps has yet to settle on his likely schedule for the 2012 London Olympics, he continues to maintain it will not include the 400m individual medley.