Jun 9th, 2016
Phil Mickelson's Oakmont Verdict
The hardest course ever!
Words: John Dean Photography: Getty Images
Phil Mickelson has been playing Oakmont ahead of next week’s US Open. Mickelson has finished second six times at the US Open, and is desperate to win it and complete a career grand slam of all the Majors.
But he knows that it isn’t going to be at all easy. This is his verdict on the course.
"I've played Oakmont the last two days, and I really think it is the hardest golf course we've ever played," said Mickelson.
"They don't know what the weather is going to be next week, if it's going to be dry or if it's going to be wet. So what they do is they let the rough grow long, and if it is wet, they'll leave it like that, and if it's dry they'll thin it out. So yesterday the rough was extremely long, I guess, and challenging.
"It's a very fair test, even though it's hard. But a lot of golf courses, when they challenge you tee to green the way Oakmont does, it usually has a little bit of a reprieve on the greens. You really don't at Oakmont. They're some of the most undulating, fast, difficult greens to putt. It really is the hardest golf course I think we've played."
But Big Phil remains optimistic.
"The reason why I'm optimistic about Oakmont is that it doesn't require me to hit a lot of drivers," he said. "It requires me to get the ball in play off the tee, but when I'm not hitting drivers, if I'm hitting 3-woods, hybrids, I feel confident I'm able to do that a fairly high percentage of the time. One of the strengths of my game over the last decade or so that's really helped me win the tournaments I've won is lag putting. So if I have a good week lag putting where I'm able to have easy pars from anywhere on the green, that's going to lead to a good week. That's why I'm optimistic. However, it's a U.S. Open and you get on a bad streak and you start missing fairways there, which isn't exactly uncommon in my game, it is difficult."
We can’t wait for this one to start. The course looks so incredible, and tough. There’s no other course in the world with bunkers like these bad boys. Bring it on, and good luck Phil. Let’s hope he isn’t runner up for a seventh time!