Perpetual bridesmaid Phil Mickelson changes US Open prep

DUBLIN, Ohio — Phil Mickelson usually spends two full days preparing for the U.S. Open before championship week, going to the course ahead of time to chart every shot, especially around the greens. This year, he’s trying a different approach.

He won’t see Erin Hills until Monday of the U.S. Open (provided he doesn’t miss the cut the week before).

”Very likely not,” Mickelson said last week. ”I’m taking a whole different approach to Erin Hills, and that is, I’m not going to do anything.”

Rather than overthink his approach, Mickelson said he would rather work on his game and try to be as sharp as possible.

Mickelson, who turns 47 on Friday of the U.S. Open (June 16), will have played three straight weeks ahead of the U.S. Open, which is rare for him. Then again, not spending exhausting practice rounds at Erin Hills will allow him to conserve some energy.

Mickelson is a six-time runner-up at the U.S. Open, which stings even more because it’s the one major that has kept him from the career Grand Slam. He hasn’t won since his British Open title at Muirfield in 2013, though he has finished runner-up in at least one major every year since then.

Even as he played Colonial for the first time since 2010, where he tied for 29th, he was not occupied with Erin Hills.

”That’s a month away. It’s not really on my mind right now,” he said. ”I feel like I need to get my game sharp. I’ve been playing what I feel is at a level much higher than the results have been bearing, and I need to start getting the results without forcing the issue. So that’s what is on my mind right now, not a tournament a month from now.”