SAN DIEGO — Phil Mickelson had been aiming at this U.S. Open like none different.
He altered his standard routine main into a significant championship — enjoying a event the week earlier than to remain sharp — to as a substitute spend extra time round Torrey Pines within the two weeks main as much as the occasion.
Mickelson spent some 5 to 6 hours a day on the greens alone, analyzing and videotaping break tendencies. He got here into the week nonetheless feeling assured from his PGA Championship victory final month and bullish on his probabilities.
Ultimately, although, Mickelson might by no means put it collectively this week on considered one of his dwelling programs as a youth, going out quietly on Sunday to complete the week at 11-over par.
Mickelson’s Sunday was something like what he’d envisioned getting into the week, hoping to be within the warmth of the combination within the closing spherical with an opportunity to win. As an alternative, his was the fourth tee time of the day, at 7:03 a.m. alongside a qualifier named Greyson Sigg.
They performed in relative silence, which is a rarity for Mickelson, one of the well-liked gamers within the historical past of the sport.
“Clearly, I’m upset I didn’t play higher,’’ Mickelson stated after he was completed. “I used to be form of preventing it slightly bit and struggled slightly bit on Thursday. I actually discovered one thing on Friday, and felt like, ‘OK, I’m simply going to begin enjoying like I did at Kiawah into the weekend,’ and Saturday I misplaced it.’’
Mickelson started the third spherical at 2-over par and 7 pictures out of the lead, hardly insurmountable with 36 holes remaining. However the 76 he shot on Saturday wrecked his possibilities of making any kind of cost.
“It occurs,’’ he stated. “I simply misplaced the timing, the rhythm received fast and I began hitting it sideways, which you’ll’t do out right here.’’“There’s some alternatives developing with the way in which I’ve been enjoying that I’m optimistic that I can compete and contend.”
Mickelson, who turned 51 on Wednesday, is scheduled to play the Vacationers Championship this week in Cromwell, Conn., and he stays optimistic he’ll return to the shape he had at Kiawah Island.
The worst break of the day got here to Mackenzie Hughes, who entered the day with a share of the lead. Hughes hit a shot right into a tree on the eleventh gap, and it stayed up there. He was pressured to take a drop and took double bogey to finish his possibilities of profitable.
“It’s simply a kind of breaks … like one-in-a-million break,’’ Hughes stated. “I’ve performed golf my total life, and I’ve by no means had a ball caught in a tree. For it to occur on the again 9 of a U.S. Open felt unlucky as a result of, if that ball is over there within the grass, I’ve received an opportunity to get up-and-down for par, and that’s a unique outlook than attempting to get up-and-down for bogey. Only a actually dangerous break, and an unlucky time to have it occur.’’
It was fairly every week for Matthew Wolff, who performed this week after taking two months off for psychological well being causes. Wolff was in rivalry proper into Sunday’s closing spherical and completed tied for fifteenth.
Afterward, he known as the week “greater than I hoped.’’
“Simply having fun with myself this week was the principle aim, and at the start of the week I used to be possibly even pondering the potential of ending useless final wasn’t even out of my thoughts. And to come back right here and combat how I did, simply battle to the top … sadly it didn’t go my approach, however I put an enormous checkmark on this week as successful and simply trying to construct and get stronger and slightly extra mature.’’
Harris English, who completed 3-under for the event, had the lead within the clubhouse for a short time.
“I really like these tournaments,’’ English stated. “From the U.S. Junior to the U.S. Novice to now the U.S. Open, I really like this golf. It’s my mentality, and I believe it actually fits my recreation simply plodding alongside, not having to shoot tremendous aggressive and shoot low scores. I really like championships and love scores like this. It’s been numerous enjoyable this week.’’
There was an attention-grabbing pairing Sunday with Richard Bland, the 48-yer-old Englishman who shared the 36-hole lead, and Italian Guido Migliozzi, who Bland beat in a playoff final month on the British Masters to seize his first profession victory. Migliozzi shot 68 on Sunday to complete 2-under for the week and in a tie for fourth whereas Bland shot 78 and completed 8-over par.
“That is in all probability a recreation of two halves,’’ Bland stated. “The primary two days have been nice, after which I came upon what the U.S. Open is basically about. If there’s one thing that’s simply 5 p.c off, it simply kills you out right here. General it’s been a optimistic week. I’ll in all probability bear in mind the primary two days greater than the second two.’’
As for the Italian brothers, Francesco and Edoardo Molinari, Francesco received the higher of his older brother, ending even-par for the week whereas Edoardo completed 5-over.