Mickelson remains driven to win elusive US Open
Phil Mickelson has reiterated his desire to finally complete a career Grand Slam – placing his full attention on the US Open.
"It's a tournament I've played too well in over the years not to finally win and I actually believe I'll win a couple,'' Mickelson said on Wednesday at Torrey Pines, where he makes his PGA Tour season debut this Thursday at the Farmers Insurance Open. "I'm not putting it all on one week.''
The intent now is for Mickelson to not just win the US Open once, but multiple times. That’s a big ask of the man who turns 44 the weekend when the US Open at Pinehurst No.2 kicks off. And of course it’s also the place where that famous finish occurred, when Mickelson ended the event in second place to the late Payne Stewart in 1999.
Mickelson gave himself a wonderful opportunity to push forward in 2014 after capturing the Open Championship last summer at Muirfield. It was his fifth major trophy and leaves the US Open as his final obstacle standing in the way of a Grand Slam achievement.
Quoted on ESPN.com, Mickelson said: "I am really excited because two areas of my game that I've not been as efficient as I would like in the last three or four years have turned into strengths. One of them is putting. I putted great last year and I had a remarkable turnaround and feel great with the putter. And the other is the driver. We have done a complete reversal on the direction, technologically speaking. It has made a world of difference for me and my game.
"As the club heads have gotten bigger, my driving has gotten worse. Having the center of gravity lower and more forward has allowed me to make the same golf swing as my irons and hit the drives and the shots that I want and that I expect. It's just made driving a lot easier. I drove it the best I ever have Sunday in Abu Dhabi when I needed to hit fairways. So with those two weaknesses or areas of my game that I have not been happy with becoming strengths, I'm more excited about this year than any year ever.''
He added: I love the fact that I have one tournament to go, that I have one to get that career Grand Slam,'' Mickelson said. "I'm not going to hide from it. It's pretty obvious that would be a career goal of mine to win the career Grand Slam, and the U.S. Open is the final link.''