OAKMONT, Pa. — Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler found themselves in their own unique pairing once the cut was made Saturday afternoon at the 116th U.S. Open.
They were the odd men out, the unlikeliest people to miss the cut at a tournament they all felt they could win.
They say misery loves company. If that’s the case, at least these three have each other.
Mickelson was the most surprised, thinking his total of 7-over par through the first two rounds at Oakmont Country Club would have been good enough to play through the weekend. Instead, he missed the cut by a stroke, ensuring that for the 26th year, he would not win the U.S. Open, the glaring omission on an otherwise stellar résumé.
McIlroy had the cut made through 35 holes. Unfortunately, he had to play a 36th, the par-four ninth. There, he hit his drive into a gaping fairway bunker, then flubbed his second shot, watching it pop up, travel about 5 feet and land right back in the sand. McIlroy ended with a double-bogey and…