Details of Phil Mickelson’s record six runner-up finishes at the U.S. Open, the only major championship he needs to win to complete the career Grand Slam:
1999 – PINEHURST NO. 2, PINEHURST, NORTH CAROLINA
After missing a long putt at the last hole, Mickelson looked on forlornly as Payne Stewart holed a 15-footer to win by one stroke. Stewart quickly approached Mickelson and said “you’re going to be a father”. Mickelson’s wife Amy gave birth to the couple’s first child the next day. Stewart died four months later in a private plane disaster.
“All the disappointment I felt that Sunday disappeared the very next day, with the birth of our child,” Mickelson said later.
2002 – BETHPAGE BLACK, FARMINGDALE, NEW YORK
On his 32nd birthday, Mickelson started the final round five shots behind Tiger Woods and reduced the margin to two strokes on the back nine but Woods held on for an ultimately comfortable three-shot victory.
“It’s tough to spot him five shots like I did today,” Mickelson said of Woods.
2004 – SHINNECOCK HILLS, SOUTHAMPTON, NEW YORK
Mickelson began the final round two shots behind Retief Goosen. Urged on by a raucous gallery in brutal conditions on a baked-out course, Mickelson birdied the 15th and 16th holes to take the lead, but double-bogeyed the 17th and was beaten by two strokes by the South African.
“I’m not disappointed in the way I played at all. I just would have liked to have won, that’s all. But I can’t worry about the fact that somebody played better than me, because Retief played some great golf,” Mickelson said.
2006 – WINGED FOOT, MAMARONECK, NEW YORK
Mickelson’s most shattering runner-up finish. On the verge of winning three straight majors, he needed to par the final hole to beat Geoff Ogilvy but carved his drive way left and made double-bogey, not even forcing a playoff, instead finishing in a three-way tie, a stroke behind the Australian.
“I still am in shock that I did that. I just can’t believe that I did that. I am such an idiot … As a kid I dreamt of winning this tournament … Even a bogey would have gotten me into a playoff,” lamented a shellshocked Mickelson.
2009 – BETHPAGE BLACK, FARMINGDALE, NEW YORK
Mickelson started the final round five shots behind eventual winner Lucas Glover. Mickelson joined Glover in the lead with an eagle on the 13th hole, but even with the gallery willing him to victory, Lefty’s putter went cold and he finished in a three-way tie, two strokes behind the unlikely champion.
“Put myself in a great position to close it out … I want to win this tournament badly. This is now my fifth second,” Mickelson said.
2013 – MERION, ARDMORE, PENNSYLVANIA
Mickelson began the final round with a one-shot lead but came to the last hole needing a birdie to tie Justin Rose. He instead made bogey to finish in a two-way tie, two back of the Englishman.
“It’s very heart breaking. This could have been the 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, who bounced back the following month to win the British Open for his fifth major title.
(Compiled by Andrew Both; Editing by Stephen Coates)