Phil Mickelson aims for elusive US Open win at home course Torrey Pines
Phil Mickelson hoping to follow up his stunning PGA Championship victory with a first US Open success; this year's tournament takes place in Mickelson's 'backyard', Torrey Pines; watch day one of the US Open live on Sky Sports Golf on Thursday from 3.30pm
Last Updated: 15/06/21 6:53am
Phil Mickelson is ready to take another shot at that elusive US Open title and his excitement meter is high with the event back at Torrey Pines just outside San Diego.
Mickelson, who turns 51 on Wednesday, is a San Diego native who spent countless hours on the course in his youth.
This week is the second US Open at Torrey Pines and this time, Mickelson arrives as the most recent major winner after his stunning PGA Championship victory last month.
"It's a unique opportunity because I've never won a US Open," said the six-time major winner.
"It's in my backyard. I have a chance to prepare properly, and I wanted to put in the right work.
"So I've kind of shut off all the noise. I've shut off my phone. I've shut off a lot of the other stuff to where I can kind of focus in on this week and really give it my best chance to try to play my best."
To Mickelson, Torrey Pines is more than the picturesque course in La Jolla that overlooks the Pacific Ocean.
It was a big deal for a young player to participate in so many competitive rounds on the storied public course, and Torrey Pines' status only grew when it was host to the US Open in 2008.
"It's been a special place for me to grow up and play our high school matches, play a lot of golf out here as a municipal course," said Mickelson.
"To make the course open to the masses is a special thing, and to have a major championship on that venue is exciting.
"Although it's a lot different than when I grew up 35 years ago, it still is a special site, and it's in remarkable shape."
The 2008 US Open is memorable for the epic 91-hole battle in which Tiger Woods prevailed over Rocco Mediate. Woods revealed a few days later that he had been playing with a broken leg and torn ACL.
Mickelson received a lot of fanfare prior to the event as the local favourite chasing his first US Open victory.
Part of the anticipation was his long familiarity with the course, not to mention his track record, winning PGA events at Torrey Pines in 1993, 2000 and 2001.
Mickelson has six second-place finishes at the US Open, the most recent in 2013 at Merion Golf Club in Pennsylvania.
But he arrives with confidence after the PGA Championship victory, one of just three triumphs in nearly eight years.
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