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      Mickelson slips a long way from 2nd at US Open

      At least Phil Mickelson probably won't finish second at another U.S. Open.

      The six-time runner-up and zero-time champion slipped well off the pace Friday with a 73 that left him at 3 over - 13 strokes behind record-setting leader Martin Kaymer.

      It's mostly because of his putter.

      After ditching the claw grip in favor of a more traditional one, Mickelson missed a series of putts that would have put him at least a little closer to Kaymer.

      Mickelson says the hole "looks like a thimble to me right now."

      Now he's facing a colossal climb just to claw back within striking distance on a Pinehurst No. 2 course that 15 years ago was the site of the first of his many second-place finishes.