Nobody in history has more second-place finishes at the U.S. Open than Phil Mickelson, who has six after finishing in second place in the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion.
However, second-place finishes aren't all bad, especially when you consider the other great golfers in the history of the sport who have piled up near-misses. As ESPN Stats & Info points out, Jack Nicklaus finished his career with 19 second-place finishes in majors, while Arnold Palmer had 10:
Phil Mickelson's 6 second-place finishes are most in U.S. Open history. pic.twitter.com/Q2BKUi5jDz— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 16, 2013
Both of the men with more second-place finishes than Mickelson were also the most prodigious golfers of their time.
Eventually, Mickelson will finally break through and win a U.S. Open.
He's too good not to win at least one before he retires.
Honestly, if not for a few bad shots, Mickelson should have won on Sunday. Unfortunately for him, it's impossible to say they were uncharacteristic mistakes. Mickelson is the king of up-and-down golf, as noted by Jason Sobel of Golf Channel:
Phil Mickelson had the lead, lost it, got it back, lost it again. Holed out from rough, bogeyed shortest hole. Most Mickelsonian round ever.— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelGC) June 16, 2013
At one point, Mickelson sandwiched two double bogeys with a birdie between No. 3 and No. 5. He has a tendency to run hot, get bold and then make poor shots on aggressive lines. When he's on, Mickelson comes up with more highlight-reel shots on a regular basis, like the shot he made on No. 10 from the right-hand rough.
He didn't stay hot for long afterwards, though, shooting three bogeys down the home stretch to finish the day at four-over par.
One day in the future, Mickelson will stay hot long enough to pull ahead of the field and coast home for an easy win.
Like Nicklaus and Palmer, Mickelson is one of the game's all-time greats.
Mickelson's sixth career second-place finish at the U.S. Open proves...
Not only is he a brilliant player, but he's a good guy.
He cares as much about winning as he does about going home on a Tuesday to make sure he's there for his daughter's graduation during U.S. Open week. Mickelson has long been a fan favorite, too. He always takes extra time to sign autographs for his fans.
Some day in the not-too-distant future, his adoring fans will witness his most triumphant moment as he finally wins a U.S. Open.
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