Phil Mickelson does not shy away from talking about how much he wants to win the career grand slam. At the Memorial Tournament, he said, “I would look at myself, I would look at my career, which is all I care about, in a whole different light if I were able to get that fourth one.” Those are strong words from a player who has 42 tournaments on the PGA Tour, including 5 major championships.
Prior to this week, Mickelson worked on his swing with Butch Harmon and his short game with Dave Pelz. He said, “And right now my short game feels really sharp. So I’m curious to see ‑‑ I won’t know where exactly I stand, but I have a much better feeling about these coming two weeks before the Open than I’ve had in a long time.”
At the Memorial, Mickelson said he is not worried about winning the tournament, but rather about gaining momentum and confidence for the next couple weeks. If he can achieve those goals, he might finally get over the second place hump at the U.S. Open.
When talking about his near misses at the Open, Mickelson spoke candidly, “I had such a down moment after losing at Merion.” He added, “The same thing at Winged Foot. And it’s easier, rather than trying to put on a front or trying to deny what’s playing out in my head, just to be honest.”
Mickelson thinks he will win multiple U.S Opens, and we have no reason not to believe the six-time runner-up. He is the expert, and he should be able to close at Pinehurst No. 2 or a future Open venue if he is playing well.
Back to the Memorial. Mickelson’s course strategy focuses on giving himself opportunities to make birdie, “Gotta drive the ball well here. It’s hard to recover from here. And your short irons need to be sharp because you’ve got to make a lot of birdies here. But then you also have to have your long irons and hybrids strong because you’re hitting those into the par 5s. And the greens are so pure and around the hole there’s not a lot of movement that you can really make some putts.”
Mickelson is teeing off at 1:05 pm ET on Thursday with Jordan Spieth and Bill Haas.
–Bernie D’Amato (@bdamato711)
(Photo: Getty Images)
Quotes are courtesy of ASAP Sports.