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

The direction used to be the website of his maximum excruciating defeat when in 2006, wanting only a par at the ultimate hollow — or a bogey to take it to a playoff — to say his first US Open identify and whole a occupation grand slam, the American hit the ball off a hospitality tent and made a double-bogey, handing the identify 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 reminiscences from Winged Foot will without a doubt endlessly keep on 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 appears to be like a bit of “other” now.

“Ultimate time I used to be at Winged Foot, I used to be 36 years outdated without a responsibility for my well being … After changing into answerable for my very own well being, lately I go back to Winged Foot and let’s simply say I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 tricky take a look at

When Mickelson misplaced that heartbreaker at Winged Foot 14 years in the past, the profitable ranking used to be 5 over par. The ranking to make the reduce that 12 months used to be 13 over.

By contrast to the 13 underneath Gary Forest shot in June final 12 months to win america Open at Pebble Seaside, many expect any other over-par ranking to win the championship in 2020.

The profitable 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 uncomplicated.”
And after enjoying the direction ahead of the Excursion Championship final week, Jon Rahm — the sector No.2 — believes gamers will as soon as once more combat to make birdies.
“It is only a tough direction. It is lengthy. It is slender. It is undulated,” the Spaniard stated. “You simply want to play truly just right golfing.

“If it will get company like one of the crucial USGA guys (the match organizers) informed me they would like it to be, I do not see how any people shoot underneath par. Or if we shoot underneath par, it will be any person profitable via 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 2d two times — together with final month’s PGA Championship — and in addition gained the season-ending FedEx Cup identify.

In addition to pocketing over $15 million for his FedEx Cup victory at East Lake, Atlanta and returning to international No.1, Johnson used to be named the PGA Excursion’s Participant of the Yr.

Getting into america Open, Johnson is undeniably the person to overcome, and he informed the media that he used to be “happy” with the way in which his recreation has been “clicking” in contemporary competitions.

“Clearly I have simply installed a large number of just right paintings. I believe find it irresistible’s great to look that the paintings you are putting in place, so that you can take it at the golfing direction and to golfing tournaments,” he stated.

“I have spent a large number of time with (trainer) Claude (Harmon III) and my brother operating at the hanging and the entirety simply appears to be clicking presently. However I have certainly needed to installed a large number of paintings to get to the place I am at. And clearly the sport’s just right and it feels just right.”

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

Developing higher reminiscences

In 2006, when america Open used to be final held at Winged Foot, Tiger Woods used to be competing simply six weeks after the demise of his father Earl.
And Woods admits that he wasn’t in the fitting mindset to play neatly then, as he neglected the reduce via 3 photographs. “I used to be no longer ready to play and nonetheless coping with the demise of my dad,” he stated on Tuesday.

“When I did not win the Masters that 12 months, that used to be truly difficult to take as a result of that used to be the final tournament my dad used to be ever going to look at me play.

“He handed no longer too lengthy after that, and fairly frankly, after I were given able for this tournament, I did not truly put within the time. I did not truly put within the apply, and because of this neglected 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 reminiscences as he goals to win his first US Open identify since 2008.

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

“This 12 months I truly have not putted in addition to I sought after to,” Woods stated, “and the days I did make a couple of swing errors, I neglected it within the unsuitable spots. In consequence, I simply did not have the fitting appears to be like at it. I have compounded errors right here and there that ended up no longer making me in a position to make pars or a birdie run, and because of this I have not put myself in rivalry to win occasions.”

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