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Mick's the man after opening round at Merion

Phil Mickelson had just four hours sleep before his 7:11am tee time on Thursday's opening round of the U.S. Open, but he still managed his best ever opening round since 1999, shooting a 3-under 67 for the clubhouse lead.

While Luke Donald had taken the lead by the end of the day, reaching four under after 13 before play was called off, Mickelson looks to be the man to beat at this early stage.

And that's no mean effort when you consider he only arrived at the Merion Golf Club at 3am flying overnight from San Diego after watching his oldest daughter's eighth-grade graduation. Lefty mixed four birdies with a lone bogey in an impressive performance.

"I might have used just a little caffeine booster at the turn just to keep me sharp," Mickelson said. "But that was our ninth hole or so, and I just wanted to make sure I had enough energy."

The energy boost clearly did the trick for the 42-year-old who is carrying five wedges but no driver in his bag in his assault on Merion's short East Course.

Despite his unorthodox selection of clubs there's no mistaking the fact that after a record five runner-up places, this major is one that Mickelson is desperate to win.

"If I'm able -- and I believe I will -- if I'm able to ultimately win a U.S. Open, I would say that it's great. ... But if I never get that win, then it would be a bit heart-breaking," Mickelson said.

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