Phil Mickelson has admitted that winning the US Open to complete the grand slam would make him look at his at his career ‘in a whole different light’.
The left-hander knows that golfing immortality awaits him if he is able to finally bag his national title, with only five other players in the history of the game having managed to win the Masters, US Open, Open and PGA Championship.
However, with six runner-up finishes in the season’s second major, there are some who believe that Phil Mickelson now has too much scar tissue in the tournament to finally get over the finishing line.
This year, he returns to Pinehurst, the scene of the first of those heart-breaking near-misses. He was second to Payne Stewart there in 1999 but is hopeful that he can go one better this year.
“There's such a difference in the way I view the few major champions that have won all four,” said the 43-year-old. “I view them in a different regard.”
“I'm fortunate and I'm honoured to be part of that long list of great players that have won three of the four. That's great. But I would look at myself and my career, which is all I care about, in a whole different light if I were able to get that fourth one.”
Phil Mickelson returns to Pinehurst, the scene of the first of those heart-breaking near-misses
Mickelson most recent near-miss came at Merion last year where he was pipped going down the stretch by England’s Justin Rose. And even though he went on to win the Open Championship at Muirfield just weeks later, he admits that it took him some time to get over that disappointment.
“That's what really got me to refocus on the future and the upcoming majors and at the British.” - Phil Mickelson
“If you try to deny it and try to act like it doesn't hurt and that it's no big deal, well, you're just lying to yourself,” he said. “It stung, and you just do what you have to get over it.
“We had a great trip planned in Montana, so I only got three days in bed before I had to get up and do something. I probably would have moped around for a little while. Instead, I was able to come to the conclusion that I'm playing really good golf and don't let it affect the potential outcome of some of the upcoming events.
“That's what really got me to refocus on the future and the upcoming majors and at the British.”
Despite how much winning would mean to him, Phil Mickelson insists that he doesn’t feel under any added pressure.
“Some people view it as though he's come close and he's never done it,” he said. :I see it as I've finished second six times in this event, I played some of my best golf in this event, and that I should have an opportunity, and more than one opportunity, to close one out here in the future.”
Phil Mickelson: Can he do it?
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