Following 71 holes of rugged play at the U.S. Open at Winged Foot, Phil Mickelson needed a par need wrap up his third consecutive major and kick the debate of who is the world's top golfer into overdrive.
The following is what Mickelson had to say following the final round of the 2006 U.S. Open.
Q. Talk about the disappointment that you must be feeling.
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, I still am in shock that I did that. I just can't believe that I did that. I am such an idiot. I just couldn't hit a fairway all day. I just couldn't hit a fairway all day.
I tried to go to my bread-and-butter shot, a baby carve slice on 18 and just get it in the fairway, and I missed it left. It was still okay, wasn't too bad. I just can't believe I couldn't par the last hole. It really stings.
As a kid I dreamt of winning this tournament. I came out here and worked hard all four days, haven't made a bogey all week and then bogeyed the last hole. Even a bogey would have gotten me into a playoff. I just can't believe I did that.
Q. How is it different with this loss than the last two times when you finished second at the Open considering the success and the work you've made and the confidence and maturity in your game or have you had time to think about it?
PHIL MICKELSON: This one hurts more than any tournament because I had it won. I came out here a week or two ago in the evenings, just spending the evenings on the last four holes thinking that I would just need to make four pars, that there's a good chance if I can just make four pars on Sunday, I could do it. I made a good par on 15, bogeyed 16 and doubled 18.
So it hurts because I had it in my grasp and just let it go. As opposed to somebody making a long putt or what have you.
Q. What happened on the second shot?
PHIL MICKELSON: I had a good lie. I had to hit a big carving slice around the tree and over cut it, just like I over cut the tee shot and some of the other shots. Obviously, in hindsight, if I hit it in the gallery and it doesn't cut, I am fine. I can still make bogey, even par. I ended up hitting the tree.
Q. How do you think you'll bounce back, Phil?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, I'll head over to the British and try to get ready for that tournament. This one is going to take a little while to get over. This one is pretty disappointing.
Q. When you look at missed opportunity, is it more than that because you had a chance to really write a legacy here as a guy that can win majors and go to the next level?
PHIL MICKELSON: I don't know why. All those reasons I'm sure play some part. But I think the biggest reason why this is so disappointing is that this is a tournament that I dreamt of winning as a kid, that I spent hours practicing I mean, countless hours practicing, dreaming of winning this tournament, came out here weeks and months in advance to get ready and had it right there in my hand, man. It was right there and I let it go. I just cannot believe I did that.
June 19, 2006
Coming off his thrilling British Open victory over Sergio Garcia in 2007, Padraig Harrington sat down to discuss his game and his chances at the 2008 U.S. Open. "I have spent my last 10 years trying to adapt my swing to play U.S. Open golf," Harrington said. "I'd say the last two years, that and the Masters have attracted my attention more than anything else."
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