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Monday, June 17, 2013

Mickelson Chokes, Again

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http://resources3.news.com.au/images/2013/06/17/1226664/789911-phil-mickelson.jpg
Mickelson Chokes, Again

It was supposed to be the ultimate feel good story. Father skips practice round to be home for his daughter's 8th grade graduation. He then jumps on a plane early the morning of the first round and arrives with a game we have only seen glimpses of over the past couple of season. He jumps out to a first round lead and is everyone's favorite going into the weekend. The storybook ending would be a tournament win on Sunday, Father's day, his birthday; the picture perfect finish.

The ending was not so rosy and sweet for Phil Mickelson on Sunday. For the sixth time he finished in 2nd place at the US Open.

After making was appeared to be a miracle shot, holing out from fairway on #10 for eagle, it seemed as if it was fate, not the grizzled 43 year old, that was willing the ball into the hold.

Instead it was heatbreak, again; a repeat of 1999, 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2009. He was right there. A putt here, a better decision there, maybe a bounce or two. Nope.  He had a 10 footer to tie the lead on 15, missed. He had a look at it again on 17, miss there as well. He put his tee shot on 18 into the hellishly thick rough on the left side, was able to gauge it out just short of the green but the magical wedge did not come through.

"If I had won today, or if I ultimately win, I'll look back at the other Opens and think it was a positive play,'' said Mickelson. "But if I never get the Open, then ... every time I think of the U.S. Open I think of heartbreak.''

Heartbreak seems to be the name of the game for Mickelson.  At 43 you have to wonder just how many more opportunities there will be.

"This could have been the big -- a really big turnaround for me on how I look at the U.S. Open and the tournament that I'd like to win after having so many good opportunities,'' said Mickelson. "Playing very well here and really loving the golf course, this week was my best opportunity [to win an Open].''

And the wait continues for that elusive US Open silver jug. Until next time it will once again be "what could have been." What is, is another choke in only Mickelson-esk fashion.  

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