Mickelson's latest bid for elusive US Open ends with 3rd rd 75

Pebble Beach (United States) (AFP) –


Phil Mickelson's bid to finally capture the US Open title that would complete his career grand slam ended with a four-over par 75 Saturday in the third round at Pebble Beach.

Mickelson hit his drive into the Pacific Ocean at the par-five 18th, walking off with a triple-bogey eight.

That came on the heels of a bogey at the par-five 14th and a bogey from the bunker at the par-three 17th.

"I'll come out tomorrow and play as well as I can," said Mickelson, who turns 49 on Sunday.

"But today was the day I needed to go low. I played well enough to do it. I had many opportunities.

"Didn't putt well, and then I finished poorly," said Mickelson, who went with driver at 18 hoping to make something happen at the finish.

"I just made bogey on 17," he said. "And if I hit a good drive, I'd be able to reach it. Really it was a test for me. I've been working on my driver. I've had a nice turn of events with the driver. I'm hitting the ball a lot straighter ... didn't pass that last test."

Mickelson has finished runner-up in the US Open a record six times. He has said that this year's edition at Pebble Beach and perhaps next year at Winged Foot are his last legitimate chances to fill that hole in a resume that includes five major titles.

He has had five cracks at it since he earned the third leg of the career grand slam at the British Open at Muirfield in 2013.

Pebble Beach has strong family associations for Mickelson, and he won the US PGA Tour's National Pro-Am here in February to heighten expectations for this week.

"Certainly I'm disappointed," Mickelson said. "I felt like I played a lot better than I'm scoring. And certainly didn't finish this round very well."

Despite his disappointment, Mickelson said Pebble Beach offered an outstanding US Open test -- high praise from a player that has slammed the US Golf Association over course set-ups past.

"I've got to hand it to the USGA for doing a great set-up," he said. "It's the best I've ever seen. And it's identifying the best players.

"It's making the players the story. I think the biggest thing was pin placements, instead of putting them right on the edges they were in good spots, rewarding great shots."