Louisville, Ky. • Phil Mickelson hardly sounded like a guy who nearly won his sixth major championship.
He was a bit put off by the way it finished.
More important, he wasn’t about to let a strong showing at the PGA Championship brighten the way he felt about this year.
There’s a lot of work ahead.
"I’ve got some regrouping to do these next three or four months," Mickelson said Sunday night, standing in the darkness of Valhalla after losing to Rory McIlroy by a single shot. "I have some glaring areas in my game that I have to work on."
He was part of a riveting four-man duel in the rain-delayed final round, but a costly bogey at the 16th denied Mickelson a chance to break his longest winless stretch since 2003. Lefty closed with a 5-under 66 for a 15-under 269 total, not quite good enough to deny McIlroy his second straight major title.
For Mickelson, it was an encouraging performance after a largely disappointing season. He hasn’t won since the 2013 British Open, and he wasn’t a factor in the first three majors this year.
Now, it’s time for the 44-year-old to get to work.
"I feel like if I’m able to continue to be strong and healthy and sharp in these areas of my game, I should have four or five good years," Mickelson said. "These next three or four months will be critical for me making sure that I address the issues and that I’m ready to go in 2015."
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