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There’s a lot at stake for Phil Mickelson this week. 

A long-awaited victory in the US Open would result in him becoming just the sixth player in the history of the game to complete the career grand slam. 

It was a chance most thought was gone but, after winning the US PGA in record-breaking fashion last month, Mickelson pegged it up at Torrey Pines with renewed hope. What’s more, with the championship taking place in his hometown of San Diego, some believed the stars were starting to align at last for the 51-year-old. 

• Torrey Confidential: Tips, picks and more

• ‘Brooksy’ heckles are hilarious says Bryson

Alas, the golf Gods are fickle. 

Mickelson laboured to a four-over 75 in front of a partisan crowd that was rather more of a hindrance than a help.

On multiple occasions, the six-time major champion had to back-off shots because of spectators’ mobile phones and, speaking to the media after his round, he cut a frustrated figure.

“I don’t understand why you just can’t turn that little button on the side into silent,” said Mickelson, who had to back off his second shot on 13 as many as three different times.

“I probably didn’t deal with it internally as well as I could have or as well as I need to. It’s part of playing the game out here at this level. Certainly I didn’t do the best job of dealing with it.”

• TaylorMade unveils stunning US Open bag

Asked if he was able to identify the noise, he added: “It’s the video ding. They just kept going off. Again, it’s part of the game. It’s part of professional golf. You have to be able to let that go and not let it get to you and be able to kind of compose yourself and regather your thoughts and so forth, but they certainly didn’t do me any favours, either.”

Mickelson’s playing partner Xander Schauffele echoed his fellow San Diegan’s sentiments.

“I had one go off right in my down swing on 14,” he said. “Fortunately, I kind of just sacked up and hit the shot and was laughing shortly after. If that ball went left, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be smiling. I think we’ll give the fans a little break. They haven’t been out in a while either, but if they could silence their phones and the photos and everything, that would be great for us.

author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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