PGA

Sobel: Story lines begin and end with Phil

Posted June 11, 2014

— There is never a shortage of story lines ahead of the U.S. Open, and with Tiger Woods still nursing his ailing back, top billing in 2014 falls to Phil Mickelson, according to GolfChannel.com Senior Writer Jason Sobel said. 

"It all starts and ends with Phil  Mickelson," Sobel told Mark Thomas and Mike Maniscalco Wednesday on 620 AM The Buzz. "For him to come back here 15 years after Payne Stewart held him up by the cheeks...on the same course, it's like a Hollywood script you wouldn't believe because it's too unrealistic."

When Stewart sank his statue-inspiring putt on the 72nd hole in 1999, denying Mickelson a chance at a Monday playoff, no one would have guessed it would begin a mind-numbing run of miserable endings for Phil at the U.S. Open. 

He's finished second in the Open five times since. 

Sobel said he doesn't expect an ongoing insider trading investigation linked to Mickelson to impact the 43-year-old's play at No. 2. 

"I don't think the insider trading investigation is going to bother him that much," he said. "He dealt with it last summer while winning the British Open. The ghosts of U.S. Opens past and trying to avenge the six runner-up finishes are weighing more on his mind right now."

A win this week would give Mickelson a career grand slam, a feat accomplished by only five players in the Masters era – Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Ben Hogan, Gary Player and Gene Sarazen. 

As for the course Mickelson and others will tackle beginning Thursday morning, Sobel said the set up of the course will likely mean long rounds. 

"We will see some long rounds this week because players are going to be so careful," he said. "They want players to strategize, to think about it a little bit. There is no way you can set up the course this way and expect players to play in three and a half hours."

Sobel said he expects a steady, "boring" player to win the 114th Open. 

"Webb Simpson and Justin Rose are boring players, and they have won the last two, so there is nothing wrong with that," he said. "They never get too excited. Jason Dufner, Luke Donald and Matt Kuchar (Sobel's pick), they sort of fit that U.S. Open mold."

1 Comment

Please to add a comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • BeefCC Jun 11, 2014

    This criminal should be put under the jail

  • MiLB: Bulls vs. Indianapolis

    Tomorrow at 7:00 pm on METV 50.2

  • MiLB: Bulls vs. Indianapolis

    Wednesday at 7:00 pm on METV 50.2

  • PGA Tour Special: PGA Tour 2015: Playing with a Purpose

    Saturday at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA Golf: WGC – Bridgestone Invitational

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA Golf: WGC – Bridgestone Invitational

    Sunday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA Championship

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA Championship

    Sunday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • MiLB: Durham Bulls vs. Indianapolis

    Tomorrow at 6:50 pm on Buzz Sports Radio

  • MiLB: Durham Bulls vs. Indianapolis

    Wednesday at 6:50 pm on Buzz Sports Radio

  • MLB: Houston at Texas

    Wednesday at 8:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

ATP Scoreboard
Monday, Aug. 3
Citi Open (ATP/WTA)
First Round
D. Sela2 1    
H. Chung6 6    
J. Duckworth6 77    
R. Harrison1 64    
V. Estrella B4 6 6   
N. Jarry6 3 4   
Y. Nishioka61 3    
A. Zverev77 6    
M. Matosevic3 3    
R. Bemelmans6 6    
D. King2 1    
G. Soeda6 6    
D. Young1     
T. Haas0     
R. Berankis0     
Y. Lu1     
T. Gabashvili 
B. Becker 
 
Generali Open (ATP)
First Round
P. Carreno Bu5 4    
F. Delbonis7 6    
(8) A. Ramos-Vino3 4    
D. Schwartzma6 6    
D. Novak62 6 6   
A. Bedene77 4 1   
K. De Scheppe2 2    
P. Mathieu6 6    
(5) J. Monaco6 1    
R. Haase2 1    
S. Giraldo7 6    
R. Dutra Silv5 2    
 
WTA Scoreboard
Monday, Aug. 3
Citi Open (ATP/WTA)
First Round
L. Chirico6 6    
H. Watson3 0    
(6) I. Begu6 6    
M. Brengle4 0    
M. Niculescu7 6    
L. Arruabarre5 4    
K. Nara6 4 64   
Y. Putintseva4 6 77   
T. Townsend1     
I. Falconi2     
(8) Z. Diyas 
L. Davis 
(5) A. Cornet 
A. Mestach 
 
Bank of the West Classic (WTA)
First Round
M. Doi6 77    
C. Bellis3 63    
A. Riske6 5 6   
T. Maria2 7 1   
C. Garcia4 5    
N. Gibbs6 7    
(6) A. Petkovic5 6 3   
C. Witthoeft7 1 2   
(7) M. Keys 
A. Krunic