Mickelson says father time no problem in U.S. Open quest

Tue Jun 16, 2015 8:24pm EDT
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

UNIVERSITY PLACE, Washington (Reuters) - Phil Mickelson celebrated his 45th birthday at Chambers Bay on Tuesday but said he feels no sense of time beginning to run out as he continues his career-long bid to win a first U.S. Open.

The American has been a runner-up at his national championship on six occasions, most recently in 2013 when he finished two shots behind Justin Rose, and he is yearning for the chance to complete a career grand slam of the four majors.

"I don't feel that sense of urgency ... it's something I really would love to do is complete the career grand slam," Mickelson said after playing a practice round with fellow Americans Brandt Snedeker, Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker.

"I'm in the best shape I've been in. I've always felt a long golf swing -- a long, smooth, flowing swing -- leads to a long career, and a short, violent swing leads to a short career.

"And I haven't had any really long-term or debilitating injuries to speak of. So if I continue to do what I've done the last eight months or so, there's no reason why I couldn't play at a high level for a while."

Mickelson could become the second-oldest U.S. Open champion behind Hale Irwin, who was also 45 when he secured the 1990 title.

Left-hander Mickelson has displayed encouraging form in his last five PGA Tour starts, culminating in a tie for third at the FedEx St. Jude Classic on Sunday when he closed with a 65, and no other winner would be more popular at Chambers Bay.

In 2013, he clinched the one major he had always felt was the most difficult for him to win, the British Open, with a brilliant closing round of 66 at Muirfield and his already stellar career would be made complete with a U.S. Open title.   Continued...

Jun 16, 2015; University Place, WA, USA; Phil Mickelson addresses the media in a press conference during practice rounds on Tuesday at Chambers Bay. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports