Title: For Sixth Time, Mickelson Wins Only Sympathy
Description: ARDMORE, Pa. — Phil Mickelson’s Sunday at the 113th United States Open began with fans singing “Happy Birthday” to him as he appeared on the practice range at 2:20 p.m. Almost exactly five hours later, the fans in the grandstand behind the 18th green cheered, chanted and stomped their feet as Mickelson walked toward them. Enlarge This Image Doug Mills/The New York Times If he never wins the tournament, Phil Mickelson said afterward, “then every time I think of the U.S. Open, I will think of heartbreak.” Related Rose Holds Off Mickelson in U.S. Open (June 17, 2013) Essay: Merion Golf Club Stands Up to Fears of Its Frailty (June 17, 2013) P.G.A. Leader Board Schedule/Results Stats | Earnings L.P.G.A. Leader Board Schedule/Results Stats | Earnings Champions Leader Board Schedule/Results Stats | Earnings European Leader Board Schedule/Results Stats | Earnings Enlarge This Image Doug Mills/The New York Times Mickelson’s final round included two double bogeys and an eagle. He finished second at the Open for the sixth time. In Mickelson’s cavalcade of disappointment at the Open, he often approaches a closing scene like this with a lead. No one has finished second in the event as often as Mickelson. He has had the lead at the Open with three holes left and lost. Once, he had the lead with two holes remaining and lost. And most famously, he had a one-stroke lead with one hole to play in 2006. He lost. But this time, Mickelson trailed Justin Rose by a stroke as he walked to his ball at the last hole, and perhaps the crowd grasped the juxtaposition, seizing upon the notion of a miracle turnaround. Had Mickelson not already holed a shot from 75 yards for eagle on the 10th hole? This time, he needed to chip his ball up a steep hill and run it across the green for a birdie that would force a playoff. After a succession of devastating, unpredictable defeats dating to 1999, wasn’t Mickelson due for something wholly unforeseen that left him smiling instead of stunned? Mickelson’s chip shot at the 18th roared toward the hole as every person in the grandstand stood. Mickelson ran after the shot, chugging up the hill to watch the ball track across the green. But the line was imperfect. The ball missed by a few feet.