Phil Mickelson believes a long-awaited victory on the US Open subsequent month would “redefine” his profession.
Mickelson’s slim hopes of reeling in PGA Championship pace-setter Brooks Koepka ended within the third spherical at Bethpage Black, the place the veteran left-hander littered his card with 9 bogeys – six of them on the again 9 – in a six-over-par 76.
The 2005 champion slumped 32 locations down the leaderboard and out of the highest 50, however he’s already turning his consideration to the prospect of turning into solely the sixth golfer in historical past to finish a profession Grand Slam of main titles.
Mickelson returns to Pebble Seaside hoping to lastly get his arms on the US Open trophy after six runner-up finishes, and he stays hopeful of becoming a member of the elite listing of Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Participant, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods in finishing a full set of majors.
“There’s not much I could do right now that would do anything to redefine my career, but there’s one thing I could do, and that would be to win a US Open,” mentioned Mickelson, already a winner at Pebble Seaside this 12 months having edged out Paul Casey within the AT&T Pebble Seaside Professional-Am in February.
“So if I have been to do this, it could change the way in which I view my profession as a result of there are solely 5 guys that ever received all of the majors. And you need to have a look at these guys in a different way. And if I ever be part of that crowd, and the one approach to do this is to win a US Open, it could redefine my profession.
“I do not give it some thought loads, however I do take into consideration what I need to do to win a US Open. And it is getting more and more tough. However we’re on a golf course at Pebble the place you actually needn’t hit quite a lot of drivers. And you should putt poa annua greens very nicely with quite a lot of break, which is one thing I’ve carried out nicely.
“So it gives me a chance that it lessens my weakness, which is hitting fairways. It makes that not quite as important because you don’t have to hit drivers there.”
Mickelson additionally insisted his win on the iconic California venue in February had little bearing on his prospects for the US Open because the course set-up and situations will probably be considerably harder.
“It just plays so different in that when it’s wet and you can fly the balls on the green and stop them no problem,” he added. “You possibly can cease them out of the tough, however you can not try this within the US Open as agency because the greens get.
“And the the fairways are a lot tighter. And in February I’m hitting drivers and hitting it so far as I can, having loads shorter pictures in. Whereas right here I’ll be making an attempt to hit fairways with irons and hybrids and such simply to get the ball in play, after which coming into these small greens with much more in your membership.
“So it’s a whole different golf course where you’re playing almost defensively, play for par first and then trying to make birdie, whereas in February, it is full-bore, all-out, go-make-birdie on every single hole.”