The Rundown

Six sports giants who know how Phil Mickelson feels

The Rundown

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After America's four-time Major winner Phil Mickelson finished second at the US Open for a sixth time in his career on Sunday evening - to go with second places at his national Major in 1999, 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2009 - we look back at six other sports stars or teams who came up short chasing a specific piece of glory.

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1. Jimmy White - World Snooker Championship

One of the most gifted players in the history of snooker, but a figure seemingly destined to never win the World Championship. Lost the 1984 final to Steve Davis, the 1991 final to John Parrott and a slew of finals in 1990, 1992, 1993 and 1994 to Stephen Hendry. Like Mickelson, six times the bridesmaid, never the bride. Ouch.

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2. Herol Graham - The hunt for a world boxing title belt

Widely regarded as the best British boxer since the war to never claim a world title. Won the British, Commonwealth and European light-middleweight titles, and British and European belts at middleweight. But lost world title shots three times at middleweight and super-middleweight to Mike McCallum, Julian Jackson and Charles Brewer.

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3. Netherlands football team - World Cup

The Netherlands are one of the most technically gifted countries in the word, but despite their ability to produce a conveyor belt of talent, they have never won the World Cup, losing finals to West Germany in 1974, Argentina in 1978 and Spain three years ago.

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4. Merlene Ottey - Olympic sprinting

Jamaica's Ottey won 14 track medals at the World Championships - including three golds - but could never collect Olympic gold. Despite her best intentions, she was forced to settle for silvers in the 100 m and 200 m at the 1996 Games in Atlanta plus a silver from the 4x100 m relay at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

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5. Ivan Lendl - Wimbledon men's singles tennis

The Czech snared two Australian Opens, three French Opens and three US Open titles, but missed out on a career Grand Slam with Wimbledon eluding him. Changed his style of play to a serve-volley approach, but could not overhaul the more natural grass court games of Boris Becker in 1986 and Pat Cash a year later.

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6. South Africa cricket team - World Cup

South Africa have failed to mimic their success in being ranked at the top of the Test rankings when playing tournament cricket. Have never gone beyond the semi-finals of a one-day World Cup in six attempts since 1992 with a semi-final berth in 2009 their best effort at the Twenty20 World Cup. A baffling lack of success for such a powerful Test nation.

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