AUGUSTA, Ga. — Phil Mickelson ended a disappointing week with a final-round 67 Sunday to finish 2-over for the Masters. Now he sets his sights on the U.S. Open in June at Shinnecock Hills, where he will have another chance to complete the career grand slam.
“The difficult thing for me is I continue to put a little bit too much pressure on myself in the majors now because I know that I don’t have a ton of time to win them, especially U.S. Opens,’’ Mickelson said. “But these next two U.S. Opens, Shinnecock and Pebble Beach, give me two really good opportunities. So I need to keep my game, get my game sharp. In the past, I’ve been on at Shinnecock [runner-up in 2004], and I’m hopeful to do it again.’’
Mickelson said he’s curious to see what the USGA does with Shinnecock considering the troubles it had with setting it up in 2004.
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“They keep changing it up,’’ he said. “I heard they widened the fairways, tightened the fairways … I’ll let it kind of settle in and I’ll go in a few weeks beforehand. I have pretty extensive notes on the greens from years past, but it’s going to be a very interesting week because historically the USGA hasn’t done their best on setting that thing up in the past. I hope that they let the superintendent there do his thing and not interfere, because he knows what he’s doing.’’
As for the possibility of completing the slam, Mickelson said, “It’s one of those career milestones that sets you apart from all players. That shows that you’re a complete player. I need to get it done soon.’’
Mickelson called his Masters final round “better’’ than he played all week, but added, “It’s never easy to be out here knowing what you’re missing out on with that back nine here Sunday at the Masters and not having a chance. It’s difficult, because you know what you’re missing out on and you know what special things happen on that back nine, how fun it is to be a part of it, be in the mix.”