MAMARONECK, N.Y. (Reuters) – Phil Mickelson’s hopes of completing the career Grand Slam of golf’s four majors may have been dashed forever as the six-times runner-up walked away from the U.S. Open on Friday with one of the worst 36-hole scores of his major career.
Mickelson shot a four-over-par 74 in tough second-round scoring conditions at a windy Winged Foot that left him at 13 over on the week and well outside the cut line of the only major tournament he has never won.
“It’s a terrific place to play golf and I’m appreciative of the opportunity to have been able compete here and I’m disappointed I didn’t play better,” said Mickelson.
The 50-year-old Mickelson was in danger of missing this year’s U.S. Open given his place in the world rankings but made it into the field as the COVID-19 outbreak led to a change in the exemption categories.
Mickelson, who last month won his debut on the PGA Tour’s over-50 circuit, said he had struggled under pressure at the testing Winged Foot course, where he suffered an infamous final-hole collapse in the 2006 U.S. Open.
“I’ve been playing very well at home, and I get out here where the penalty for a mis-hit is severe, and I find myself getting a little tight and a little steery, and playing some of my worst golf,” said Mickelson.
“And that’s something I’ve got to work on and fix. When I go back home, I don’t have the stress and I seem to play just fine, but I’ve got to be able to bring it out here under these
Mickelson now plans to take a few weeks off and was unsure if another U.S. Open chance awaits.
“I don’t know,” Mickelson said when asked if he had given thought to whether this was his last crack at a U.S. Open title.
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Toby Davis)