Phil Mickelson's Tough Luck at U.S. Open Will Continue at Merion in 2013

Patrick Clarke@@_Pat_ClarkeCorrespondent IJune 12, 2013

MEMPHIS, TN - JUNE 09: Phil Mickelson hits his tee shot on the par 4 2nd hole during the final round of the FedEx St. Jude Classic at the TPC Southwind on June 9, 2013 in Memphis, Tennessee.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Phil Mickelson has experienced a bulk of his heartbreak at the U.S. Open over the years, finishing second or tied for second five times since 1999.

In 2013, Lefty's inability to get over the hump at the season's second major will once again showcase itself. Following two dismal performances at the U.S. Open over the past two years and given his inconsistent start to this season, Mickelson looks poised for another disappointing finish, this time at Merion Golf Club.

Mickelson is coming off a solid effort at the FedEx St. Jude Classic this past weekend in which he shot a 67 or better over the final three rounds and finished second. Before that, he missed the cut at The Players Championship and finished 54th in the season's lone major at Augusta National.

Overall, Lefty has missed two cuts in his last six tournaments and hasn't won since conquering the Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale back in early February.

Add in the fact that the U.S. Open has always managed to elude Mickelson over the past two decades-plus and it seems inevitable that the four-time major winner's weekend will end in lackluster fashion.

Since finishing tied for fourth at the 2010 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, Mickelson has been a non-factor at this major event. He shot 16 over last year to finish 15 strokes behind winner Webb Simpson. In 2011, he shot seven over to finish a ridiculous 23 strokes behind champion Rory McIlroy.

To be fair, McIlroy wasn't going to be beat that year.

But even in 2009, when he most recently finished second at the U.S. Open, Lefty struggled late, suggesting the pressure got to him. Mickelson bogeyed two of the last three holes in the final round in 2009, finishing two strokes back of champion Lucas Glover.

In 2006, Mickelson double bogeyed the final hole to finish one stroke back of winner Geoff Ogilvy in the memorable collapse at Winged Foot. Two years earlier, Mickelson suffered the same disastrous finish, double bogeying hole No. 17 in the final round to finish just two strokes off the pace of winner Retief Goosen.

Call it choking, bad luck or whatever you want. Phil Mickelson has lost this tournament in nearly every way imaginable and looks poised to come up short once again at Merion in 2013.


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