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Rose ribs Mickelson over U.S. Open defeat

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Though he isn’t yet numb to U.S. Open heartbreak, Phil Mickelson at least has plenty of experience dealing with it.

So when Lefty, now a six-time Open runner-up, and 2013 champion Justin Rose were paired together at the WGC-HSBC Champions, the Englishman couldn’t resist ribbing his pal.

After all, in June, Mickelson kicked away his chance at the elusive Open with sloppy bogeys on the back nine, opening the door for Rose to capture his maiden major title.

Here’s what Rose told the Daily Mail in a story published Wednesday:

“On the opening day (of the WGC) he asked the starter if he wouldn’t mind announcing him as the Open champion. So I asked if he wouldn’t mind announcing me as the U.S. Open champ. I looked over at Phil and gave him a wink, and he was laughing. He enjoys the banter, and he’s certainly an inspiration.

“He was 33 when he won his first major and now he’s gone on to win five, as well as a virtual career grand slam if you count all those near misses in the U.S. Open as one win. It shows to me that even if you have to wait until your early 30s to win your first, you can still go on and have a great career.”