By Andrew Both
PINEHURST North Carolina (Reuters) - Phil Mickelson believes he will eventually win the U.S. Open even though it continues to elude him and history now seems against him.
The five-time major champion has won each of the other three majors and only needs the U.S. Open to become the sixth man to complete the modern Grand Slam.
“I believe in the next five years I'm going to have three or four really good chances, and I do believe I will get it,” he told reporters on Sunday after finished equal 28th in this year's tournament.
Mickeslon has finished runner-up at the U.S. Open on six separate occasions, including the last time it was held at Pinehurst, in 1999.
The winner that year was Payne Stewart, who was the last player to win the event in his 40s. He was 42 when he triumphed, only four months before dying in a private plane mishap.
Hale Irwin holds the record as the oldest U.S. Open winner. He had just turned 45 when he triumphed in 1990 and Mickelson will turn 45 two days before the start of next year’s Open at Chambers Bay near Seattle.
The Californian left-hander was never in contention at Pinehurst this year after putting poorly in a second round 73.
He said he had always been a “long shot” given his mediocre form coming into the championship, not that you would have known it by the pre-tournament media hype.
“You've got to put it all together to win a major championship. In this day and age, somebody's going to play well,” he said after signing for a seven-over 287 total.
“You can't get by with scraping it around. You have to have it all firing. I didn't have it all firing this week, but there will be other chances.”
(Reporting by Andrew Both; Editing by Julian Linden)