Phil Mickelson will play in his 25th U.S. Open on Thursday. If he can snag a win, he’ll also snag something else: a career Grand Slam.
“Whether it’s trying to win an Open Championship or a U.S. Open championship, the fact that I’ve come so close is actually a motivator for me to work harder,” said Mickelson.
The five-time major winner has diligently prepared by playing numerous practice rounds to better understand the course’s winding holes and difficult, undulating greens. Because of his precise short game and lengthy tee shots, many have picked the 45-year-old veteran as their top contender in the 156-player field.
“I feel like in this day and age, I’m in the best shape I’ve been in. I’ve always felt a long golf swing, a long, smooth, flowing swing leads to a long career, and a short, violent swing leads to a short career. I had a good week last week and I’m hoping to carry some of that momentum this week.”
Mickelson is coming off a third place finish last week at The FedEx St. Jude Classic in Memphis after shooting a stellar final round of 65. Other top finishes include a tie for second at The Masters in April and a tie for fourth at the Wells Fargo Championship in May.
More important, Chambers appeals to Mickelson. “It’s really a wonderful course,” he said. “At Chambers Bay you don’t have to be perfect. You can miss shots and reasonably still salvage pars, rely on short games. I feel that it has characteristics of playability similar to Augusta and St. Andrews that allow you to play less than perfect.”
With six U.S. Open runner-up finishes and more than two decades of experience, Mickelson may finally be able to complete the coveted title he’s been seeking. His head is calm and his confidence is high.
“I still have a huge challenge that I am trying to overcome and that’s to win a U.S. Open and complete the (career) Grand Slam. And I’m enjoying that challenge. I’m having fun with it. I appreciate the fact that I’m able to play at the highest level and do what I love to do.”
No wonder we love this guy.