February 11, 2019 / 7:26 PM / 2 months ago

Mickelson downplays U.S. Open prospects after Pebble Beach win

(Reuters) - Phil Mickelson has downplayed suggestions that his win at Pebble Beach on Monday will have any bearing on his chances of completing the career grand slam when the U.S. Open is contested at the same venue in June.

February 11, 2019; Pebble Beach, CA, USA; Phil Mickelson acknowledges the crowd after making his putt to win on the 18th hole during the conclusion of the final round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am golf tournament at Pebble Beach Golf Links. The conclusion was delayed due to weather and darkness. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

On Monday, he matched Mark O’Meara’s record of five Pebble Beach Pro-Am victories, adding to his previous successes in 1998, 2005, 2007 and 2012.

Inevitably, the question of the U.S. Open arose quickly.

However, Mickelson said Monday’s win was irrelevant because the course will be completely different in June from the soggy, lush layout that greeted the players during the Californian winter.

Asked in a greenside interview what the performance did for his confidence, Mickelson said: “Absolutely nothing, because it’s nothing like the course we’ll see.

“I’m hitting drivers and trying to bomb it down there and hit wedges in (this week).

“The rough will be so different and the greens so firm it will be a whole different golf course but I’ll deal with that in six months.”

Mickelson is one of three players looking to complete their collection of all four majors this year.

Rory McIlroy will have his opportunity at the Masters in April, with Jordan Spieth getting his chance at the PGA Championship in May.

Only five players have won all four modern majors — Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Tiger Woods.

Mickelson has come close, with six runner-up finishes at the U.S. Open.

He has won five majors — the Masters (2004, 2006, 2010), PGA Championship (2005) and British Open (2013).

Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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