Mickelson Has Mind on US Open

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ROLAND, Ark. -- Phil Mickelson is already looking ahead to the U.S. Open -- and a chance to atone for last year's collapse. 'Even though we have The Players Championship coming up and I'm excited about that in a few weeks, I can't help but think that I want to win the U.S. Open pretty badly -- especially after last year's finish,' Mickelson said Tuesday.
 
Mickelson was at the Alotian Club for a clinic with kids from Fort Smith and central Arkansas -- in conjunction with the Jackson T. Stephens Charitable Golf Tournament. He spent about 45 minutes demonstrating various elements of his short game, then met briefly with reporters.
 
Mickelson, who tied for 24th at the Masters this month, was asked about his expectations for the rest of the year. He singled out the U.S. Open, which he lost by a stroke last year at Winged Foot when he made double bogey on the final hole. This year's tournament is June 14-17 at Oakmont.
 
'That would be the tournament that would be the most meaningful, the most sentimental to me,' Mickelson said.
 
The golf clinic outside Little Rock featured Tiger Woods last year. This year Mickelson was on hand. He began by poking some fun at himself.
 
'I'm probably not the best one to ask for driving, so why don't we talk about shots around the green?' Mickelson said.
 
Mickelson explained his chipping style and showed off a few of his acclaimed flop shots -- while taking some questions along the way. He said afterward he wants kids to be eager to practice new techniques.
 
'To see kids start playing golf at such a young age -- it excites me,' Mickelson said. 'First of all, the game needs it, I want to see it grow. Also because it's a great place for kids to grow up and hang out.'
 
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