USA TODAY Sports’ Steve DiMeglio previews the 2016 U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club.
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OAKMONT, Pa. – Phil Mickelson says his career is “built on failure,” which will raise an eyebrow or two since he has won five major championships, 37 other PGA Tour events and $80 million in prize money.
But when a person turns 46, as Mickelson does Thursday, he is allowed to put his career into whatever kind of perspective he’d like. And he knows what we know: that when he arrives at another U.S. Open, which he has played 25 times, he becomes America’s Runner-Up, a golfer whose astonishing record of six second-place finishes draws attention not to his glorious successes, but to his notorious mistakes.
Mickelson has won three Masters, one British Open and one PGA Championship. He has never won a U.S. Open. So here he comes once again on his quest for the career Grand Slam, and so, too, come the uncomfortable memories: losing to Payne Stewart on the final hole in 1999, hitting his drive off a corporate hospitality tent on the 72nd hole in 2006 (he…