Phil Mickelson was hoping that the US Open would be the competition to end his miserable season.
This was Mickelson’s first chance of completing the career grand-slam and it would have been fitting for him to do it in the tournament that has caused him so many problems in the past.
Six runner-up finishes have left Lefty questioning whether he will ever win the US Open, with his luck seemingly out.
However, Mickelson not finishing near the top of the leaderboard this week had nothing to do with fortune. He simply didn’t play anywhere near well enough to trouble eventual winner Martin Kaymer.
Kaymer set a blistering pace, getting to nine-under for the tournament, in a course where only two others, Rickie Fowler and Erik Competon, managed to stay under-par for the four rounds – and they were both eight shots behind the German.
Mickelson meanwhile, was even further back. The 44-year-old ended the competition in tied 28th position, at seven-over-par.
This year he has looked out of sorts, failing to find a top ten finish, but there was still a hope that he would be able to end his long wait for a US Open title at Pinehurst.
And, despite a promising first day display, where he remained in contention, Mickelson never really threatened to break his duck.
He is still remaining optimistic for the future, though, and he has not given up hope of completing the grand-slam of major wins.
"I believe in the next five years I'm going to have three or four really good chances and I do believe I will get it," he said to reporters at Pinehurst. "I'm not upset or disappointed. I will have more chances.
"Hopefully I'll get it done. It would be one of the great career achievements if I could get it done."
Mickelson was fairly consistent this week, but he was just not able to create the magic needed to stay with Kaymer.
He had rounds of 70, 73, 72 and 72 – showing a solidarity to his game that has been fairly rare on the tour this year, but he just couldn’t make enough birdies to get his score into red figures.
He will be hoping that this steady improvement can help him transform what has been a poor year and get back to playing the level of golf that everybody has come to expect from him.
"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 to finish the year strong," Mickelson said.
"My game's slowly coming back. For me to throw five shots away each day and to easily make the cut and move up, I don't feel like I'm that far off, but I've got some work to do."
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