Watch Phil Mickelson talk about the 1999 U.S. Open at Pinehurst and what he’s doing to prepare for ’14

The Golf Channel's "Morning Drive" got a nice little surprise on Friday when Phil Mickelson showed up to chat about his British Open win this year and what he has planned in the coming months and years.

Mickelson has already said that his entire focus is on completing the career Grand Slam with a win next year at the U.S. Open, and it would be a perfect storm of sorts since he nearly won his first major championship back in 1999 at Pinehurst #2, the site of the U.S. Open next season.

Phil talked about that tournament and how it helped mold him later in life (specifically a chip shot he hit on the 16th hole at Pinehurst back in '99 that helped him with a chip shot he hit at the 2005 PGA Championship to set up a winning birdie on the final hole), and he reflected on the late Payne Stewart who obviously beat him at that event some years ago.

Maybe my favorite part of the interview with Mickelson was when he talked about what he is doing now to prepare for major championships. You can hear Phil say it, but basically his goal is to be as comfortable with a major championship venue as he is with his home course, meaning that when he hits a shot he wants to know exactly what he has upcoming before he even gets to the ball, much like you would at a course you play all the time.

It's interesting because a lot of players might not have the time or the means to get out to an Oakmont or a Pinehurst, but Phil's life is now going to be based around winning majors and completing that career Grand Slam, so spending a week or two in North Carolina is a part of his preparation because he knows if he is as comfortable as he can be with a major venue, he has his best chance to win.

Check out the interview below, and enjoy Phil simply talking golf like only Phil can do.

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Shane Bacon is the editor of Devil Ball Golf and Busted Racquet on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or

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