Phil Mickelson Begins U.S. Open Push with Texas Two-Step

It’s no secret that Phil Mickelson clearly has his sights set on winning the career grand slam.

Before the 2013-14 season started, the five-time major winner decided to tweak his playing schedule so he can focus on winning majors, and more specifically this year’s U.S. Open, which takes place at Pinehurst. A win there would complete Lefty’s mission of capturing each of the four major championships (Masters, U.S. Open, Open Championship and PGA Championship) in the span of his career.

In an effort to do so, Mickelson added this week’s Valero Texas Open to his schedule, marking the first time since 1992 that he’ll play the event. From there he’ll do a Texas two-step to the Shell Houston Open, which occurs the week before the Masters.

After that, his eyes will be focused on Pinehurst. Interestingly enough, one of Mickelson’s best chances to win the U.S. Open came at the same venue in 1999 against eventual champion Payne Stewart. Fans watching at home and in person saw one of the more memorable moments in the history of the sport play out and are hoping for something bigger to bear witness to in a couple of months.

“There is no hiding the fact that winning the U.S. Open would be my career goal and completing the career grand slam,” Mickelson said last fall. “That is the final leg that I have and I’ll be putting most of my focus into winning the U.S. Open.”

Back in January, he spoke about how anxious he was to compete for that elusive U.S. Open championship at a venue where he’s experienced much success. Mickelson also believes that he’ll win a pair of U.S. Open titles before all is said and done with his career.

“I’m excited that the tournament that I’ve played some of my best golf in is the one that I haven’t won and I feel it’s just a matter of time,” Mickelson said. “It may be this year at Pinehurst, it may not, but I do believe that will come. I actually believe I’ll win a couple.”

Undoubtedly, Mickelson does boast an impressive career resume. The southpaw has won five majors — three green jackets at Augusta National, the Open Championship, and the PGA Championship — and has come close on numerous occasions to winning the U.S. Open with a record six runner-up finishes.

Mickelson is also known to be a workhorse on tour, often playing more than 20 events every year at places that remind him of major venues and are within close proximity to the start of those particular majors. He played in 22 events last season and already has participated in seven events this year, with his best performance coming earlier this month at the World Golf Championships in which he finished 14th.

Related: A Look Back At Mickelson’s Five U.S. Open Runner-Up Finishes

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