It’s the one piece of the jigsaw missing from his remarkable career - but Phil Mickelson has now all but admitted defeat in his bid to win the US Open.
Mickelson, who has finished runner-up in his national championship a record six times, turned 49 last Sunday as Gary Woodland broke his major duck at Pebble Beach.
Despite a fantastic record at the Californian course, Mickelson could do no better than a tie for 52nd – and, with that, he believes his chances of completing the career grand slam have gone.
“I really don't have many more chances,” admitted the five-time major champion. “Probably have to come to the realisation I'm not going to win the US Open, but I'm not going to stop trying. I'll keep trying. You never know.”
Mickelson would break the record for the oldest major winner of all time if he were to add to his haul but he says he’s starting to feel the effects of ‘Father Time’ encroaching on his career.
“I certainly haven't played at the same level of consistency week in and week out that I did back in my 20s and 30s,” he added “When I play well, I'm able to play at a very comparable level to what I played back at the height of my career. I'm able to pick off wins like I did earlier this year at AT&T, last year at Mexico.
“I’m just not having as many opportunities, and so that's been the hardest thing for me. Having energy levels and recovering and being focused for each shot in four rounds.
“Out here, the difference is so small between winning and losing. It's one shot here or there. That's the challenge that I face.”