Mickelson: 'There will be other chances'
PINEHURST, N.C. – Phil Mickelson refused to get down on himself Sunday afternoon, even after a disappointing week at Pinehurst No. 2.
The 2014 version of the U.S. Open didn't provide Mickelson, 43, the heartbreak of Merion – a sixth runner-up finish in America's national championship – but not being in contention come Sunday morning didn't make finishing outside the top 25 any easier.
"There's nothing more exciting than waking up Sunday with a 3:25 tee time and an opportunity to win the U.S. Open, whether you win or lose, because that pressure, that nervous feeling, those butterflies, that energy from the crowd when you make a birdie, the excitement, there's no he replacement for that. That's why we play," said Mickelson after a 2-over 72 left him 7 over for the tournament.
While much of the week's focus was on Mickelson's sub-par putting – mostly his 34 strokes in Round 2 – it was the lack of hitting fairways that kept him scrambling all week.
PHOTOS: 2014 U.S. Open (Sunday)
Check out final round photos of the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2 in North Carolina.
Mickelson hit only 32 of 56 fairways, which is 57 percent – an eye-opening 13 percent worse than the field. His putting was actually on par with the field.
"You got to put it all together to win a major championship. In this day and age, somebody's going to play well. You can't get by with scraping it around; you have to have it all firing. I didn't have it all firing this week, but there will be other chances," said Mickelson.
The sunny-side up Mickelson pointed to the next five U.S. Opens, where he feels he will have "three or four really good chances" to win the elusive title – even if his recent track record says otherwise.
In his last five appearances in the U.S. Open, he has managed only three rounds under par. In three of those tournaments, Mickelson finished well outside the top 25.
"… I do believe I will get it. I'm not upset or disappointed; I will have more chances. And right now, given the way I have been playing heading into this tournament, it was really a long shot," Mickelson said.
Mickelson has failed to record a top-10 finish on PGA Tour this season – earning just more than $800,000 and sitting 87th in the FedEx Cup standings.
"I've got to get some momentum and get my game sharp for me to really have a chance at winning and I'm going to spend the next five, six weeks seeing if I can get that to get it going here to finish the year strong," said Mickelson.
As for the U.S. Open, it's simply wait until next year – again.