Phil Mickelson's quest for second straight major off to rocky start

SAN DIEGO – “Gosh, darn it, Phil.”

That was a common refrain uttered by Phil Mickelson during the first round of the 121st U.S. Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course.

One day after celebrating his 51st birthday, Mickelson got off to a sluggish start, shooting 4-over 75 in his bid to win the one major championship that has eluded him and would complete the career Grand Slam. The reigning PGA Championship winner battled hard but had a few too many loose shots that did him in.

“Two-over would have been a pretty good round and I ended up at 4,” Mickelson said, “so, I’m a little disappointed about that.”

After a 90-minute fog delay to the start of the round, the marine layer broke and sunshine bathed the fairways. Mickelson got off to an inauspicious start at No. 10, short-siding himself in the right greenside bunker after backing off his second shot to reset and his 10-foot par putt horseshoed out.

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Mickelson was locked in last month at Kiawah Island en route to hoisting the Wanamaker Trophy and becoming the oldest major championship winner. That meant he didn’t require the special exemption that the USGA had…

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