At least Phil Mickelson probably won't finish second at another U.S. Open.
The six-time runner-up and zero-time champion slipped well off the pace Friday with a 73 that left him at 3 over — 13 strokes behind record-setting leader Martin Kaymer.
It's mostly because of his putter.
After ditching the claw grip in favor of a more traditional one, Mickelson missed a series of putts that would have put him at least a little closer to Kaymer.
Mickelson says the hole "looks like a thimble to me right now."
Now he's facing a colossal climb just to claw back within striking distance on a Pinehurst No. 2 course that 15 years ago was the site of the first of his many second-place finishes.