There has never been a man that has come closer to winning the U.S. Open than Phil Mickelson. The bridesmaid at this major championship, it has always seemed that the U.S. Open is the one event that Mickelson wants the most but the one he might never get. With Phil leading by a shot at Merion heading into Sunday, we look back at the five second place finishes he's had over the years at this event.
1999 U.S. Open -- While Phil Mickelson had finished high in majors prior to the '99 U.S. Open at Pinehurst, he hadn't really contended for a major championship. Mickelson headed into the final round a shot back of Payne Stewart, and the two battled hard over the final 17 holes before landing on the famed 18th. Mickelson had a birdie putt on the final hole to tie Stewart, but he couldn't convert, leaving Stewart a 15-footer for par to win his second U.S. Open and third major championship. Stewart hit a great putt, it dropped and while the defeat was tough for Mickelson, it was Payne that grabbed Phil by the cheeks and told him, "You're going to be a father!"
2002 U.S. Open -- The fans might have been rooting the hardest for Phil at Bethpage Black, but it was simply Tiger Woods' golf tournament to win, which he did, beating Mickelson by three shots. The 2002 U.S. Open was Mickelson's third straight top-three finish in a major championship.
2004 U.S. Open -- The final round at Shinnecock looked like it might be a surprise U.S. Open victory for Mickelson. He started the day two shots back of Retief Goosen, but slowly made up ground, taking the lead away from the South African with back-to-back birdies on Nos. 15 and 16. It was the par-3 17th that left Mickelson fans shaking their heads, as Lefty three-putted from five feet for a double-bogey, eventually losing by two shots to Goosen.
2006 U.S. Open -- Is there a better way to sum up this U.S. Open at Winged Foot than Mickelson saying, "I'm such an idiot" after he finished? Phil stood on the 72nd tee box needing just a par to win, but blew his drive well left off a hospitality tent, hit a poor punch shot and made a double-bogey, missing out on a playoff with Geoff Ogilvy by a shot.
2009 U.S. Open -- It was Phil's great return to Bethpage Black, and his incredible eagle on the par-5 13th on Sunday tied him for the lead with Lucas Glover. Mickelson then went on to miss a short birdie putt on No. 14, three-putt No. 15, missed another short putt on No. 16 and bogeyed 17. He would lose to Glover by two shots at the golf course that looked like the perfect place for him to pick up his first U.S. Open victory.