U.S. Open: Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson draw quite a crowd

The No. 9 fairway was packed more than a half dozen deep on the right side for the group that included leader Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson, who was having himself quite a round.

Fans shouted “Go get ‘em Rory,” and “Let’s go Phil,” as both players walked up to the No. 9 green. McIlroy stopped to the left of the pin and glimpsed the media throng following his group. Then he flashed just a little smile as if incredulous to the attention.

Mickelson had hit his approach onto the practice area to the left of the flag, and after landing his flop shot within eight feet turned to his caddie and said he was worried about hitting the shot fat.

Marshals at the hole had to restrain a mass of spectators from following Mickelson down the hill behind Mickelson, so those fans had to watch the shot from well off in the distance behind the bridge over the deep creek separating the fairway and green.

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Gene Wang is a sports reporter covering multiple beats, including Navy football, the Capitals, Wizards, Nationals, women’s basketball, auto racing, boxing and golf. He also covers Fantasy Football.

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