Mickelson celebrates birthday with 71

June, 16, 2012
06/16/12
8:16
PM ET
SAN FRANCISCO -- After battling for his second straight 1-over-par 71, Phil Mickelson was greeted with a Happy Birthday serenade on the 18th hole. "Yeah, it's a long, difficult day, even though it's my birthday," Mickelson said. "And it was very flattering of the fans, thank you."

At 8-over par, the 41-year-old Hall of Famer probably played himself out of the tournament on Thursday with a 76. At this point in his life, he would cherish more than anything U.S. Open and British Open victories to complete the career grand slam.

Lefty seemed a little deflated after his round. Who could blame him with the leaders really just starting their rounds? But knowing Phil, he still believes that if he can go out and shoot a great number on Sunday and have a chance to win if the leaders began to falter.

Farrell Evans covers golf for ESPN and can be contacted at evans.espn@gmail.com.

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