Considering fans sang “Happy Birthday” to him on many of the Chambers Bay greens during his Tuesday practice round, Phil Mickelson didn’t really need to be reminded that he was aging.
The newly 45-year-old Mickelson was asked in his press conference if he felt an urgency to finally win a U.S. Open, after six runner-up finishes have left him missing only that trophy to finalize a career grand slam of the four majors.
“I don’t feel that sense of urgency,” he said. “I’m in the best shape I’ve been in. There’s no reason I couldn’t play at a high level for a while.”
He conceded that he’d been frustrated by some mechanical technique issues, but “I saw some really good glimpses last week; I feel closer and closer each day.”
Mickelson tied for third at the Fed Ex St. Jude in Memphis last week, capping the week with a 65 on Sunday.
Mickelson likens Chambers Bay to St. Andrews, and thinks the firm and fast conditions are making it less important to be long off the tee. He also thinks the Chambers layout offers more margin for error than the typically tight and unforgiving U.S. Open course.
“This course allows you to play it at less than perfect,” he said.