The golfer joked about his infamous blown lead in 2006

By Ashley Boucher
September 17, 2020 07:20 PM
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Phil Mickelson
Phil Mickelson
| Credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Phil Mickelson is hoping to make one fan's daring bet worth the wager — and win his first U.S. Open in the process.

Last week, ahead of the tournament's first round on Thursday at the Winged Foot Golf Club in New York, Mickelson joked about reports of one fan's $45,000 bet on Mickelson to win the tournament — and poked fun at what is widely recognized as his worst career loss.

"Heard someone place 45k on me to win the open at 75-1 (pays 3.3 mil)," the 50-year-old golfer, nicknamed "Lefty," wrote on Twitter last Friday. "Hoping for both of us I have a 3 shot lead on 18 tee."

In 2006, the year the U.S. Open was last played at Winged Foot, Mickelson blew his lead on the final hole when he hit double bogey instead of the par he needed to claim victory.

Earlier this week, Mickelson told reporters that it was "fun" for him to return to Winged Foot 14 years after the loss — and that he's not necessarily looking to redeem himself.

"Look, I’m 50, my career is what it is," he said, the Golf Channel reported. "I look at now as a bonus. Any win – a Tour win, a major – they’re bonus wins. It’s fun for me to be able to compete and play in this event. It’s fun for me to come back after '06. It’s a fun opportunity for me to try to add a bonus to my career. That’s kind of how I’m looking at it."

On Monday, Mickelson commemorated his return to Winged Foot by focusing on a positive change in his life.

"Last time I was at Winged Foot, I was 36 years old with no accountability for my health," Mickelson wrote on Twitter, sharing a photo from 2006 and now. "After becoming accountable for my own health, today I return to Winged Foot and let’s just say I look a little 'different.' "

The athlete told Golf this week that he "wasn’t educated" about health earlier in his career. "I either wasn’t aware or didn’t want to know the things I was putting in my body, whether it was diet soda and how toxic that is, or whether it was the amount of sugar and how much inflammation it causes, or whether it was the quantity; all of those things, I just kind of shut my eyes to."