Mickelson Laments another Missed Opportunity in the U.S. Open

Though he started Saturday of the U.S. Open 12 shots behind leader Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson harbored hopes of putting together a hot round to rise up the leaderboard and get nearer to the record-setting 22-year-old from Northern Ireland.

But it was not to be. Mickelson held serve, so to speak, on the front nine with a 1-under 35. But on the back nine on a Congressional that was yielding low scores throughout the day, Lefty ended all of his slender chances to win his first-ever Open title with a 7-over 42 on the inward nine that included three bogeys and two doubles.

Here's what the disappointed four-time major champion told reporters during a brief Q&A Saturday afternoon.

Q. Frustrating to make a move yesterday and have it fall back today?

PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, it was a rough back nine. Some things kind of fell apart there in the end. But I think that the course is set up very fair. It would be really fun to see had we not had the rain, as well, because I think it's such a fair setup that it could accommodate fair conditions that they were anticipating. But really, the course itself is very fair and leads itself to good scores if you play well and high scores if you don't, which I don't think you could ask for anything more.

Q. You said yesterday that you were still trying to figure out what you wanted to work on. Going into today did you ever kind of solve that?

PHIL MICKELSON: I felt pretty good on the front nine, hit a lot of good shots and some good tee shots and thought I could get it going. I let a couple of birdie opportunities slide, and it was disappointing, especially on nine. Not birdieing 9, I felt like that was a missed opportunity. But I felt like I could get that going on the back side, and unfortunately I can't believe I hit an 8-iron over the green on 10, which is a really tough spot to get up-and-down and make bogey and wasn't able to make any birdies. Again, it just kind of fell apart during the end. I've enjoyed my week. The people in D.C. have been very nice and it's been really a great site for the tournament.

Q. When you were on the range this morning -

PHIL MICKELSON: I felt pretty good. I really felt like I was able to go light it up. I was hitting the ball well and I felt like I was putting pretty good, too.

Q. Was there a moment on the back that you could just sense that things were sliding away?

PHIL MICKELSON: I three-putted the par-3, 13th hole, and that was a big disappointment. I was even for the day. I wasn't doing too bad. I gave it a good birdie chance, it went just by the lip about six, seven feet by, and I missed it. That took a lot of momentum out of me. I parred the next hole but that took a lot of momentum out of me, but it happens.

The transcript for the above interview is courtesy of ASAP Sports.