The US Open misses of Mickelson
Stewart’s heroics deny the expectant father
Mickelson entered the 1999 US Open with his wife Amy due to give birth during the tournament. Fortunately, he didn’t have to leave to attend the birth of his first child. Unfortunately, a bogey on the 16th during the final round surrendered a one-shot lead and allowed Payne Stewart to win by one after he famously made birdie on 17 then holed a magical par putt on 18.
He fails to catch Tiger despite final-round blitz
Tiger Woods dominated the headlines following his victory at Bethpage Black in 2002, where he became the first player to hold all four Major titles at once. It was always going to be a tall order for Mickelson to catch Woods, but he did get to within two shots during the final round. But a wayward tee shot and subsequent bogey on 16 ended his chances and consigned him to another second-place finish.
2004, Shinnecock Hills
Putting frailty halt Phil’s back-nine charge
Mickelson entered the 2004 tournament full of confidence having finally won his first Major at Augusta two months before. The Masters champion very nearly made it back-to-back Majors after closing Retief Goosen’s two-shot lead. Birdies at 15 and 16 gave him the outright lead before a horror three-putt from five feet led to a decisive double bogey and the end of his title hopes once again.
This was the one that really got away (for Monty too)
Everything about the 2006 US Open suggested it was Mickelson’s time to triumph. He had won the 2005 PGA Championship and the 2006 Masters. After a solid opening two rounds, he made a decisive move on day three to reach the top of the leaderboard. Locked in a battle with Colin Montgomerie and Geoff Ogilvy, Mickelson carried his lead into the final three holes before a bogey on 16 checked his progress. The warning signs continued at 17 when a wayward tee shot landed in a bin, but a stunning second found the green and secured his par. Meanwhile, Ogilvy made three closing pars to enter the clubhouse one shot back, and Montgomerie blew his chance with a double bogey on 18 after climbing into contention with a 75-foot putt at 17. Mickelson boarded the 18th tee with a one-shot lead… but carved his drive into the crowds (see left). Undeterred, he went for the green but his ball hit a tree. His third then plugged in a greenside bunker. The result was a double bogey. This was the fourth time he had finished second at the US Open and it remains his best chance yet to secure the title.
Final round heroics fall short once again
The US Open returned to Bethpage Black in 2009, and the tournament had unwelcome similarities to 2002 for Mickelson. Heading into the final round he was eight shots off the lead, but backed by a partisan New York crowd, he played his way back into contention and briefly tied for the top after an eagle on 13. However, bogeys on 15 and 17 pushed him into second behind the unfancied Lucas Glover.
An all-too-familiar tale of close but no cigar
The 2013 tournament played out in a rather predictable, but thoroughly painful, pattern for Mickelson. He led from the start but faltered with a final-round 74 to finish as runner-up for the sixth time having blown yet another chance of victory. His Open Championship victory at Muirfield the following month means the US Open is now the only Major that Mickelson has failed to win.