By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
ARDMORE, Pa. -- Phil Mickelson owns a share of the second-round lead at the U.S. Open for the third time in his career.
He's finished second the last two times -- first, to the late Payne Stewart in 1999 at Pinehurst and later to Retief Goosen in 2004 at Shinnecock Hills. Mickelson actually has been the runner-up at the U.S. Open five times, which is a record, but he's still searching for his first victory.
Mickelson's third-round scoring average at the U.S. Open is 72.60 and he's broken par seven times in 22 appearances. He is 1 under through 36 holes at Merion and tied for the lead with Billy Horschel, who is playing in his first U.S. Open as a pro.
In all, Mickelson has held the lead at the midway point of four majors and converted one into victory at the 2005 PGA Championship.
This marks the 31st time Mickelson has held or shared the 36-hole lead on TOUR. He converted 17 or those into victory, including earlier this year when he won the Waste Management Phoenix Open for the 41st victory of his World Golf Hall of Fame career.
The last 36-hole lead Mickelson had that didn’t result in a win was also his most recent as he finished one stroke out of a Derek Ernst-David Lynn playoff at the Wells Fargo Championship last month.