US Open 2018: Ranking Phil Mickelson's six near misses

Phil Mickelson has finished as US Open runner-up a record six times - we rank them.

Charlie Lemay's picture
Mon, 11 Jun 2018

 

 

 

Phil Mickelson needs just the US Open to complete a career Grand Slam but the year's second major has been a scene of serial heartbreak for the left-hander. 

 

The 45-year-old's swashbuckling style has secured thrilling victories in the other three majors, but his home Open is proving elusive with a record six runner-up finishes. 

 

Lefty's carded 10 top fives, and has only missed the cut twice in 23 attempts. But unfortunately that counts for zip. 

 

Could 2018 and Shinnecock Hills - the scene for one of those runner-up finishes in 2004 - finally be the Thrill's time? He comes into it after a closing round of 65 at the St Jude Classic, suggesting his game is in a decent spot. Maybe - but these runner-ups will be hard to forget.

 

We rank his six near misses at the US Open:

 

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6. 2002 - Bethpage State Park, NY

 

 

Mickelson was still searching for a first major but Tiger Woods was in his pomp and went to Long Island municipal Bethpage Black as the Masters champion in search of an eighth major title.

 

Woods took the lead from day one and Mickelson found himself eight strokes behind after two rounds. A 67 on the Saturday lifted Lefty into a tie for third, still five shots adrift, and he shot a level-par 70 on the final day to finish three behind his nemesis for a third consecutive top -three finish in a major.

 

“This was certainly not a disappointing day," said Mickelson. "It was one of the most exciting days that I've had in the game of golf. It was very electrifying."

 

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5. 2009 – Bethpage State Park, NY

 

Mickelson was by now a firm favourite with the New York crowd after his near miss in 2002 and his final-hole calamity at the 2006 US Open at Winged Foot. However, the support went up a notch in 2009 after his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer.

 

Phil found himself tied for the lead on the final day after an unexpected eagle on the 13th hole sent the crowd into a frenzy. 

 

 

But the putter frosted over and Mickelson bogeyed the 15th and 17th, allowing Lucas Glover to take the title by two shots. 

 

"It was an emotional five days. I want to win this tournament badly. I feel I will have more chances," said Mickelson.

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. 2013 – Merion, PA

 

 

Those hailing from Old Blighty remember the 2013 US Open fondly as Justin Rose became the first Englishman to win the event since Tony Jacklin in 1970, but Mickelson will not look back with the same level of nostalgia.

 

He entered the final day with a one-stroke lead, but bogeyed the third and fifth holes to lose the advantage after of a pair of nasty three-putts.

 

On the 10th, Mickelson regained the lead after holing out from the rough for eagle, but just when the crowd thought this may be Mickelson's year, he misjudged the par-three 13th and gave one back

 

A bogey on the last saw him finish two strokes behind the ice-cool Rose for a record sixth runner-up place at the US Open.

 

"For me, it's very heart-breaking," Mickelson said. "This was my best chance on a golf course I really liked. I felt like this was as good an opportunity as you could ask for and to not do it hurts."