US Open 2015: Mickelson still in the hunt for elusive Major

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Lefty under par after day one at Chambers Bay

No left-hander has ever won the US Open, only one player, Hale Irwin, has won the Championship after turning 45.

Phil Mickelson turned 45 on Tuesday yet, in this his 25th US Open, a Major he has six second places, he remains in contention after a 69 on day one at Chambers Bay.

In all six of those runners-up finishes he has shot an opening round of 70 or better and this could have been better but for back-to-back bogeys at 13 and 14, courtesy of a holed 15-footer at the latter, and missed birdie chances at the last three holes.

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The front nine was rock solid with three birdies, none from outside 15 feet, before a slightly more adventurous back nine where one birdie was offset by a trio of dropped shots.

Afterwards the six-time Major champion had no complaints with the set-up of the course though the speed of the greens might lead to a few concerns as the week progresses.

“I thought it played terrific. I thought it played as we expected. I thought there was nothing hokey or crazy with any pin positions or how it played. I thought it was difficult,” he said.

“I think the biggest challenge is that the green speeds are different from green to green. That’s going to wreak havoc on our touch. And that’s the only thing I could possibly think of that is not really positive, because I think it’s been very well done.

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“They’re not the most true surfaces downhill, because you can’t hit it hard enough to hold the line. But uphill they seem to hold the line just fine. I might have to factor that in because I think the percentage of made putts uphill from 3 to 9 feet is going to be quite a bit higher than downhill.”

"I thought there was nothing hokey or crazy with any pin positions or how it played" – Phil Mickelson Otherwise it was a case of a job well done, the heartache of Merion, Winged Foot, Pinehurst and co forgotten about for now. Now it is time to look for the positives.

I hit a lot of good shots. I shot under par the first day of the U.S. Open. The first round was the round I was going to be most nervous at, getting started. 

“You don’t want to have to fight to come back all the time. You want to get off to a solid start around par. And I got off to a good start and shot 1-under.

“The shot I hit on 1 for a par, where I hit it up there from down that low area up to a foot, that’s the type of shot that I feel like will allow me to do well here.”

Mickelson has finished second in his last two Major starts, another this week, even at the age of 45, isn’t part of the grand plan.    

For more on the 2015 US Open CLICK HERE

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