Phil Mickelson has pledged to give “everything I have” when he bids to
complete the career grand slam in his home city of San Diego on the back of his stunning US PGA Championship triumph.
Just nine days before rolling back the years at Kiawah Island to become golf’s oldest major champion, Mickelson had reluctantly accepted a special exemption for June’s US Open at Torrey Pines, where he will turn 51 the day before play gets under way.
That exemption was required because Mickelson had slipped out of the world’s top 100 and the prospect of him joining Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods in having won all four majors looked increasingly far-fetched.
But as well as giving Mickelson a sixth major title – to match the totals of Sir Nick Faldo and Lee Trevino – Sunday’s victory also came with a five-year exemption for the US Open, an event in which he has finished runner-up a record six times.
“If I’m being realistic, it’s very possible that this is the last tournament I ever win,” admitted Mickelson, who won twice on the Champions Tour last year but had failed to record a top-20 finish on the PGA Tour until Kiawah.
“But it’s also very possible that I may have had a little bit of a breakthrough in some of my focus and maybe I go on a little bit of a run, I don’t know.
“I’ve believed for some time now, without success, that I could play at my best and compete in major championships still, but, until this week, I haven’t proven it to myself or anyone else.