Phil Mickelson won’t be celebrating his 49th birthday on Sunday with the US Open title that continues to elude him, however he lavished reward on the USGA for the course set-up at Pebble Seashore.
Mickelson attracted widespread criticism within the third spherical at Shinnecock Hills 12 months in the past when he knocked his transferring ball again in direction of the opening to cease it rolling off the inexperienced, a transfer which many felt was a dig on the event organisers for a number of ill-advised pin placements.
The six-time runner-up didn’t give any interviews within the build-up to this week’s version, maybe to keep away from questions on his actions final 12 months, and he opened with a 72 earlier than a typically-erratic, second-round 69 bought him into pink numbers on the midway stage.
Mickelson was extra constant over the primary half of his third spherical, with 9 pars and a birdie on the sixth over the primary 10 holes, however he dropped three pictures over the following seven after which carved his drive at 18 into the ocean en path to an unsightly triple-bogey eight.
His four-over 75 dropped him again to 3 over and ensured he could be taking part in for satisfaction on Sunday, however he had no trigger for criticism over how the historic hyperlinks was set-up for the event following a number of controversies lately.
“Certainly I’m disappointed,” mentioned Mickelson, who shall be eligible for the PGA Tour Champions by the point the US Open returns to Winged Foot subsequent 12 months – the scene of one in every of his most notorious runner-up end again in 2006, when he double-bogeyed the final to present Geoff Ogilvy the title.
“I felt like I performed quite a bit higher than I’m scoring, and I actually did not end this spherical very nicely. However I’m actually blissful that I had this chance this week. I’ve bought handy it to the USGA for doing a fantastic set-up. It is the very best I’ve ever seen, and it is figuring out the very best gamers. It is making the gamers the story.
“I simply suppose that you have to give credit score after they do a great job like this. They’ve achieved a fantastic job, and there have been many instances the place one or two yards’ distinction in gap location would have made a world of distinction, given the circumstances being so powerful. And this week they’ve achieved a great job in doing that.
“I suppose the largest factor was pin placements, as an alternative of placing them proper on the sides they had been in good spots, rewarding nice pictures. I cannot say sufficient nice issues about how this week has gone to date. And I’m appreciative to the hassle they’ve put in and for the chance that I had this week.
“I’ll come out tomorrow and play in addition to I can, however in the present day was the day I wanted to go low. I performed nicely sufficient to do it and I had many alternatives. However I did not putt nicely, I left them quick the entire time. After which I completed poorly.
“But for the most part I’ve really enjoyed this week. I’ve had a lot of fun testing my game, testing myself mentally, my physical game. And it’s been a fun challenge.”