'If I don't win I hope it's Phil Mickelson' says Rory McIlroy
RORY McIlroy would love to see Phil Mickelson complete the career grand slam at Shinnecock Hills, with one crucial caveat.
"If I wasn't playing and just purely as a fan of golf, I'd love to see Phil win this week because it's great for the game," McIlroy said.
McIlroy, who needs to win the Masters to complete a full set of major titles, will play alongside Mickelson and Jordan Spieth in the first two rounds of the 118th US Open, starting at 0802 local time (1302BST) on Thursday.
Mickelson, who has finished runner-up a record six times, needs to win this event to complete the grand slam, while Spieth's missing major is the US PGA Championship.
"Phil's had six runner-ups at this event [including at Shinnecock in 2004]," McIlroy added. "He's played wonderfully. It's just someone's played a little better at a certain week or maybe he made a mistake at the wrong time.
"It's not as if he's had a poor US Open record. His US Open record is incredible. This is another opportunity for him, as it will be for Jordan at the PGA, as it will be for me again next year in April again.
"I think you've got to go out and play the best you can and not think about what it means, just think about trying to win a golf tournament, which Phil has done 50-odd times in his career. He won for the first time in a few years earlier this year so his game's in good shape.
"It's a huge story in the game of golf. And as someone involved in the game, I think it would be really cool for that to happen. But seeing as I'm playing in the tournament, I'd rather beat him and not have that happen. But if it isn't me that wins this week, it would be a great story if Phil was to win."