Solid 70 for Mickelson

Phil Mickelson’s career Grand Slam ambitions were dealt no harm as he opened with an even-par 70 in the first round of the US Open.

The left-hander needs only this title to join the elite club of men to have conquered all four major championships, and his opening round left him just two shots off the early clubhouse lead at Pinehurst on Thursday.

Starting from the 10th, Mickelson added two birdies and a bogey on his front nine before adding another birdie at the fifth.

He was sitting pretty om two under at that stage, but bogeys at six and eight brought him back down to level par – still a very respectable score on a tough course.

“I played really well,” Mickelson said. “I drove it great. Everytime I hit driver, I hit the fairway.”

“This golf course is a course where I get a similar feeling that I get at Augusta, where I don’t have to be perfect.

“I can miss shots. I can miss greens and still get up and down. I always have a chance. There’s not the hack-it-out-rough. It is challenging. There are difficult shots, but they’re manageable and hittable if you pull them off.”