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Phil Mickelson happy to get to US Open

Phil Mickelson shot a final round of one-over-par 72 on Sunday at the Barclays Classic before expressing eagerness for what has really been on his mind this week -- the U.S. Open at Winged Foot.

"It is exciting that the U.S. Open is now here," said Mickelson, who tied for 18th place at Westchester Country Club, nine shots behind winner Vijay Singh.

"The golf course over at Winged Foot is going to be very difficult. It's one of the hardest set-ups heading in that I've seen, and we're all going to have our work cut out for us. It's going to be a difficult test of golf.

"We're also all looking forward to it. We only get our national championship once a year, and we're all ready."

Mickelson may be more ready than most.

The lefthander has logged more than half a dozen practice rounds at Winged Foot recently, even heading over there on Sunday for some golf before the final round of the Barclays.

"I think that I've learned the golf course as well as I possibly can heading into the tournament, and hopefully come Thursday my game will be sharp and I'll be ready to play."

Mickelson is coming into the U.S. Open with victories in golf's last two majors -- the U.S. PGA Championship last August at Baltusrol and April's triumph in the U.S. Masters.

"Winged Foot has so many nuances to it," he said. "Every green has a little roll or a little knoll, and it's very hard to pick it all up in the first trip or two. So I ended up spending quite a bit more time over there because of that."

The 35-year-old American said the Westchester course was also good preparation for Winged Foot -- up to a point.

"It's a very similar golf course here at Westchester than at Winged Foot although Winged Foot is comparatively probably a little on steroids now with the rough grown so high, the fairways so tight," he quipped.

"I guess we have our own steroid problem in golf, and we're going to see it next week."

June 13, 2006


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