And while the crushing nature of this defeat didn’t hold Mickelson – he continued to win two more majors – the memories of Winged Foot will no doubt stay with him forever.
While this career grandmaster still remains elusive to Mickelson when he returns to Winged Foot for the 120th U.S. Open, which begins Thursday, one thing that has changed is his body. He took to Twitter to show off his 2006 transformation, acknowledging that he now looks a little “different.”
“The last time I was in Winged Foot, I was 36 years old, without taking into account my health … After taking charge of my own health, today I’m going back to Winged Foot and let’s just say I look a little ‘different’. “
When Mickelson lost that heartbreaker to Winged Foot 14 years ago, the winning result was five over par. The result for redundancies this year was 13.
Unlike the 13 led by Gary Woodland, who were launched last June to win the US Open at Pebble Beach, many are expecting another result to win the 2020 championship.
“If it gets hard, as some of the guys from USGA (the tournament organizers) told me they wanted to be, I don’t see any of us shooting below face value. Or if we shoot below face value, it will be someone who wins a lot. “
The man to beat
In 10 PGA Tour races, the 36-year-old won three and finished second twice – including last month’s PGA Championship – and also won the season-ending FedEx Cup title.
Entering the US Open, Johnson is undoubtedly the man to win and told the media that he is “satisfied” with the way his game “clicks” in recent competitions.
“I spent a lot of time with (coach) Claude (Harmon III) and my brother working on the setup and everything seems to be just a snap right now. But I definitely had to work hard to get to where I was. And obviously the game is good and feels good. “
Creating better memories
“When I didn’t win the Masters this year, it was really hard to take because it was the last event my father would ever watch.
“It didn’t take long after that, and honestly, when I prepared for this event, I didn’t really take the time. I didn’t actually get involved in the practice, and therefore I missed cutting quite easily.”
The 44-year-old is now returning to Winged Foot in hopes of creating new, more positive memories as he strives to win his first US Open title since 2008.
Since golf returned from the break, Woods has struggled for fitness and form, playing in only four races of the PGA Tour, with his highest score coming in the PGA Championship when he tied for 37th.
“I really didn’t play as well as I wanted this year,” Woods said, “and when I made a few swinging mistakes, I missed it in the wrong places. So I just didn’t have the right look at it. Here and there I have combined mistakes that ultimately did not make me able to pars or run with a bird and therefore I did not compete to win events. “