A devastated Phil Mickelson made no secret that finishing runner-up at the US Open for the sixth-time was “heart-breaking”, but the American will have the chance to bounce back next month at the Open in Scotland.
The left-hander, a perennial favourite in the British Open betting, started the final round at Merion with a single-shot lead over the rest of the field, but two early double-bogeys at the third and fifth holes completely threw Mickelson’s round off track.
A sensational eagle at the 10th gave the American renewed hope, but further shots went at 13 and 15 when he hit two poor wedge approaches and from there it was Justin Rose who went on to win his first US Open title, with Mickelson once again leaving the tournament wondering what might have been.
“For me it’s very heart-breaking. This could have been a really big turnaround for me in how I look at the US Open. This week was my best opportunity I felt, the way I was playing and the position I was in and to not do it, it hurts.”
“This is probably the toughest for me because at 42, to be so close, you know, it was really set up for me,” admitted a downbeat Mickelson after seeing Englishman Rose lifting the trophy at Merion.
But instead of feeling sorry for himself for the next couple of months, Mickelson will be able to use his latest US Open disappointment as motivation in the run-up to July’s Open at Muirfield in Scotland.
Despite never being the happiest hunting ground for Mickelson, a shortcoming that the latest British Open odds reflect, a third place finish in 2004 and a tied for second in 2011 have shown that the left-hander is capable of handling the different conditions posed by the links courses of the UK.