Phil Mickelson returns to scene of his most crushing defeat aiming for career grand slam at US Open

The direction was once the web site of his maximum excruciating defeat when in 2006, desiring only a par at the ultimate hollow — or a bogey to take it to a playoff — to assert his first US Open name and whole a occupation grand slam, the American hit the ball off a hospitality tent and made a double-bogey, handing the name to Geoff Ogilvy.

And whilst the crushing nature of that defeat did not dangle Mickelson again — he went directly to win two extra majors — the recollections from Winged Foot will definitely without end persist with him.

Whilst that occupation grand slam nonetheless stays elusive to Mickelson as he returns to Winged Foot for the 120th US Open Championship, which starts on Thursday, something that has modified is his frame. He took to Twitter to turn his transformation since 2006, admitting he seems a bit of “other” now.

“Final time I used to be at Winged Foot, I used to be 36 years previous without a duty for my well being … After changing into in control of my very own well being, lately I go back to Winged Foot and let’s simply say I glance a bit of ‘other.'”

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Mickelson waits to hit from the rough during the final round of the 2006 U.S. Open Championship.Mickelson waits to hit from the rough during the final round of the 2006 U.S. Open Championship.

A difficult take a look at

When Mickelson misplaced that heartbreaker at Winged Foot 14 years in the past, the successful ranking was once 5 over par. The ranking to make the reduce that yr was once 13 over.

Against this to the 13 below Gary Wooded area shot in June ultimate yr to win the United States Open at Pebble Seashore, many expect any other over-par ranking to win the championship in 2020.

The successful ranking has been over par in all however one US Open at Winged Foot; Jack Nicklaus as soon as described the direction as getting “difficult at the first tee and not getting any more straightforward.”
And after taking part in the direction prior to the Excursion Championship ultimate week, Jon Rahm — the sector No.2 — believes avid gamers will as soon as once more fight to make birdies.
“It is only a tough direction. It is lengthy. It is slim. It is undulated,” the Spaniard stated. “You simply wish to play in point of fact excellent golfing.

“If it will get company like one of the USGA guys (the match organizers) advised me they would like it to be, I do not see how any folks shoot below par. Or if we shoot below par, it might be anyone successful by way of so much.”

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Mickelson stands on the 18th green after his last putt in the final round of the 2006 U.S. Open Championship.Mickelson stands on the 18th green after his last putt in the final round of the 2006 U.S. Open Championship.

The person to overcome

Since golfing returned from the coronavirus hiatus, Dustin Johnson has been in red-hot shape.

In 10 PGA Excursion occasions, the 36-year-old has gained 3 and completed 2nd two times — together with ultimate month’s PGA Championship — and in addition gained the season-ending FedEx Cup name.

In addition to pocketing over $15 million for his FedEx Cup victory at East Lake, Atlanta and returning to global No.1, Johnson was once named the PGA Excursion’s Participant of the 12 months.

Coming into the United States Open, Johnson is undeniably the person to overcome, and he advised the media that he was once “happy” with the best way his recreation has been “clicking” in fresh competitions.

“Clearly I have simply installed numerous excellent paintings. I believe find it irresistible’s great to look that the paintings you are putting in place, so to take it at the golfing direction and to golfing tournaments,” he stated.

“I have spent numerous time with (trainer) Claude (Harmon III) and my brother operating at the placing and the entirety simply appears to be clicking at the moment. However I have unquestionably needed to installed numerous paintings to get to the place I am at. And clearly the sport’s excellent and it feels excellent.”

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Johnson celebrates with the FedEx Cup trophy.Johnson celebrates with the FedEx Cup trophy.

Growing higher recollections

In 2006, when the United States Open was once ultimate held at Winged Foot, Tiger Woods was once competing simply six weeks after the loss of life of his father Earl.
And Woods admits that he wasn’t in the proper mindset to play neatly then, as he overlooked the reduce by way of 3 pictures. “I used to be no longer ready to play and nonetheless coping with the loss of life of my dad,” he stated on Tuesday.

“When I did not win the Masters that yr, that was once in point of fact difficult to take as a result of that was once the ultimate tournament my dad was once ever going to observe me play.

“He handed no longer too lengthy after that, and rather frankly, after I were given able for this tournament, I did not in point of fact put within the time. I did not in point of fact put within the apply, and as a result overlooked the reduce beautiful simply.”

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Woods hangs his head after hitting it into the rough on the 15th hole during the opening round of the 2006 U.S. Open.Woods hangs his head after hitting it into the rough on the 15th hole during the opening round of the 2006 U.S. Open.

Now the 44-year-old is again at Winged Foot hoping to create new, extra sure recollections as he goals to win his first US Open name since 2008.

Since golfing returned from the spoil, Woods has struggled for health and shape, taking part in in simply 4 PGA Excursion occasions, his perfect end coming on the PGA Championship when he tied for 37th.

“This yr I in point of fact have not putted in addition to I sought after to,” Woods stated, “and the days I did make a couple of swing errors, I overlooked it within the flawed spots. As a result, I simply did not have the proper seems at it. I have compounded errors right here and there that ended up no longer making me ready to make pars or a birdie run, and as a result I have never put myself in competition to win occasions.”

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