Mickelson hopes to end 26-year US Open misery
PHIL Mickelson seeks to conclude 26 years of US Open frustration at Oakmont Country Club this week, while battle is rejoined for supremacy between the sport's new spearheads - Jason Day, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy.
No other golfer has endured such heartache at one tournament as Mickelson has at the second of the year's four majors.
He has finished second a record six times since he first played it in 1990. And having captured the British Open in 2013 to go with his three Masters titles and one PGA Championship, the US Open is all that is stopping him from becoming just the sixth golfer to complete a career Grand Slam.
To do so, though, he will have to conquer one of the world's finest and toughest golf courses in Oakmont.
Opened in 1904, the rugged par-70 layout features 210 bunkers that swallow up balls and aspirations in equal quantities, greens that confound the best of putters and rough so thick that sprained wrists are not uncommon.
On top of that, it has the longest par-three in US Open history that can be stretched to 300 yards and the second longest par-five at a mind-boggling 667 yards.
Mickelson would have known the dangers he faces when he stepped out for the first round yesterday on his 46th birthday.
Rain and afternoon thunderstorms have been forecast to hit the course for the opening round but the weather conditions look perfect for the weekend.