Phil Mickelson anticipating 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst 'too much'

Stanley Chou

Pinehurst No. 2 holds special memories for Phil Mickelson, who came up just short of Payne Stewart in the 1999 U.S. Open, the first of six runner-up finishes for the popular southpaw.

Phil Mickelson has made no secret of his yearning to fill the void in his trophy room with the simple ear-handled silver ewer that goes to the winner of the U.S. Open. The five-time major champion conceded earlier this week that he may want the no-name trinket -- the only one missing from his collection of three green jackets, a Claret Jug and a Wanamaker Trophy -- just a tad too much.

"I have a bit of a concern about Pinehurst [No. 2] because I’m almost looking forward to it too much," Mickelson told Tod Leonard on Monday during an appearance at the Freedom to Live charity golf tournament in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.

The second of next year’s four major-title bouts will take place at the North Carolina site of Payne Stewart's memorable 1999 Open win, which happened to coincide with the first of a record six heartbreaking runner-up finishes for Mickelson.

"It would mean a lot to me to have it take place in that setting. That close call there, when my good friend Payne Stewart made that putt and said those emotional things to me," Mickelson said about the 11-time PGA Tour winner, who died at the age of 42 in a plane crash four months after his Pinehurst victory. "To come back and possibly win my first U.S. Open there, I don’t even know how to say how important that would be."

In their famous ’99 tilt, Mickelson and Stewart went shot for shot down the stretch and got to the 18th tee at even and 1-under, respectively. After Lefty failed to drill a match-tying 20-footer for birdie on the final hole, Stewart converted his 15-foot par putt and sewed up his third, and final, major.

Even more memorable, perhaps, than the way the duel ended, was Stewart seizing Mickelson’s face in his hands and consoling the first-time father-to-be by saying, "You’re  going to be a father!"

Mickelson, who will reflect on his British Open-winning 2013 season with Golf Channel’s "Morning Drive" hosts on Friday morning, expressed assurance that he would one day win the U.S. Open.

"Whether it’s at Pinehurst or Chambers Bay the following year, or what have you, I do believe it will come shortly," he said. "I’ve come close in that event and played it so well for so many years, I feel like it’s just a matter of time."

More from SB Nation Golf:

Cheyenne Woods mimics Uncle Tiger in trick shot video

Euro stars hit from the 22nd floor of hotel to a Dubai island green

Adam Scott seeks Tiger-level dominance at Augusta

Tiger expects to add at least one more major in 2014

Court cases are a 'distraction' for winless Rory

A Simple Game: Where golf is more than just a sport

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.