PGA

Sobel: Story lines begin and end with Phil

Posted June 11

— 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."

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  • BeefCC Jun 11, 6:54 a.m.

    This criminal should be put under the jail

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
DUR 0
ROC 4
 
7:05pm Tonight
DUR
ROC
 
Final
PIT 12
LOS 7
Final
PHI 6
SFG 9
Final
NYY 2
TEX 1
Final
TOR 7
BOS 3
Final
ATL 5
MIA 6
Final
CHC 6
SDP 0
Final
MIL 4
CIN 3
Final
MIN 2
CLE 8
Final
CWS 1
KAN 7
Final
STL 2
TAM 7
Final
COL 4
WAS 7
Final
ARI 5
DET 4
Final
ANA 2
BAL 4
Final
OAK 2
HOU 3
Final
SEA 1
NYM 3
1:10pm Today
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CLE
 
2:10pm Today
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CIN
 
2:10pm Today
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KAN
 
3:10pm Today
COL
WAS
 
3:40pm Today
ARI
DET
 
3:40pm Today
SEA
NYM
 
7:05pm Tonight
PIT
LOS
 
7:05pm Tonight
PHI
SFG
 
7:05pm Tonight
NYY
TEX
 
7:07pm Tonight
TOR
BOS
 
7:10pm Tonight
ATL
MIA
 
7:15pm Tonight
STL
TAM
 
8:05pm Tonight
CHC
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10:05pm Tonight
ANA
BAL
 
10:05pm Tonight
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HOU
 
Final
DUR 0
ROC 4
 
7:05pm Tonight
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