'Completely lost it': Phil Mickelson in ugly meltdown at US Open

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Phil Mickelson, pictured here in action during the third round of the 2021 US Open.
Phil Mickelson in action during the third round of the 2021 US Open at Torrey Pines. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Phil Mickelson's dream of a US Open victory to complete a career Grand Slam is over after he staggered to a third-round 76 on Saturday.

A six-time US Open runner-up who turned 51 Wednesday, the American had been hoping for a fairytale charge up the leaderboard at Torrey Pines.

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But it wasn't to be as the left-hander made five bogeys and a double bogey to finish seven-over on 220.

Mickelson became the oldest major champion in golf history last month by winning the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island for his sixth major title.

However he couldn't continue that form at Torrey Pines as an elusive US Open title continues to evade him.

“I just completely lost it today," he said. 

"But I was sure appreciative of the chance to play here in a US Open on a place that’s special to me."

Three-way tie atop US Open leaderboard

Perennial major contender Louis Oosthuizen sank a monster eagle putt at the final hole to vault into a three-way tie for the lead after the third round.

South African Oosthuizen's downhill putt slammed into the middle of the flag and toppled in to add another layer of fascination to what already was shaping up to be a compelling final round on Sunday.

With a one-under-par 70, Oosthuizen joined Canadian Mackenzie Hughes (68) and steady American Russell Henley (71) at five-under 208.

But the three frontrunners did not have to look far over their shoulders to see heavyweights Rory McIlroy (67) and Bryson DeChambeau (68) waiting to pounce just two strokes behind.

Oosthuizen, the 2010 British Open champion, has completed the career runner-up grand slam, and just last month was equal second behind Mickelson at the PGA Championship.

Now he has another chance.

Rory McIlroy, pictured here after putting out on the 17th hole at the US Open.
Rory McIlroy reacts after putting out on the 17th hole at the US Open. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Henley started the day tied for the lead with Richard Bland, and maintained at least a share of it the entire day as he mixed four birdies with four bogeys in an even-par 71 in a light breeze.

Hughes, meanwhile, vaulted into contention by holing a 35-foot bunker shot at the par-five 13th that prompted an enormous gallery roar that reverberated across the canyons to the rest of the course.

But Bland's fairytale run came to a screeching halt. The 48-year-old who recently became the oldest winner on the European Tour, battled to a 77 that left him six behind.

McIlroy, seven years removed from the most recent of his four major titles, could hardly ask for a better chance to end his drought.

"I'm trying to think of the last time where I really felt like I had a chance," said McIlroy, who had to go back to the 2018 British Open where he tied for second.

"I'm just excited for the opportunity to have a chance."

Defending champion DeChambeau, meanwhile, ignored a smattering of minor heckling to pound his way into contention with another bone-jarring performance of long driving.

He compiled his first ever bogey-free round at an Open, picking up three birdies and coming ever so close to making a few more.

with agencies

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