Phil’s career grand slam aspirations will have to wait another year
By Bernie D'Amato under US Open
Buzz kill. ©USGA/Michael Cohen.

Next stop, Chambers Bay. ©USGA/Michael Cohen.

Phil Mickelson didn’t have his best game in round three, but he was able to scramble for a respectable two-over 72. He is at five-over (T31) for the championship, and his chances of breaking through for his first U.S. Open victory are almost nonexistent.

Mickelson was at even-par on the day when he reached the par-5 fifth hole. He had a flip wedge in his hands for his third shot, but he missed the green long, and made a great up-and-down for par. Phil wasn’t hurt by the par, but he knew that par wasn’t going to get it done on moving day.

Lefty was not upset with the course set up, but he said birdies were hard to come by, “A little different golf course. Pins were very difficult. The only birdie pin I thought was 18. But the greens were receptive; it wasn’t unfair. It was a very good test.”

Phil didn’t strike the ball well enough to have a chance at a low round, but his scrambling and putting helped keep his score close to par.

However, Mickelson is pleased with the way he is driving the ball, and if he can tighten up his iron play and putting, he will start making some noise on Tour.

Phil would like to jump start his season with a low round tomorrow, and possibly finish in a familiar spot, “Just try to go play a good, solid round. If I play well — if I hit it better and make some putts, I think I can shoot 4- or 5-under par, end around even, finish second again.”

2014 U.S. Open leaderboard.

–Bernie D’Amato