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
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14
 
8:07pm Tonight
SFG
KAN
Final
WISC 52
MD 7
Final
SMU 10
MEM 48
Final
ILL 28
MINN 24
 
Final
RICE 41
UNT 21
Final
NEB 42
RUTG 24
Final
KST 23
TEX 0
Final
ARK 45
UAB 17
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
EMICH 17
NILL 28
Final
NAVY 41
SJST 31
Final
BST 35
AKR 21
 
Final
GASTATE 31
GASO 69
 
Final
TOL 42
UMASS 35
 
Final
WMICH 42
OHIO 21
 
Final
COL 37
UCLA 40
 
Final
UMO 10
KSU 3
 
4th
WAKE 3
BC 23
 
4th
BUF 14
CMICH 14
 
3rd
MARS 20
FATL 16
 
3rd
PITT 21
GT 35
 
3rd
SMISS 10
LATU 10
 
3rd
MSU 28
MICH 3
 
3rd
KENT 17
MSST 24
 
4th
STAN 35
ORST 7
 
3rd
TCU 40
TTU 20
 
4th
OKST 10
WVU 17
 
Half
WKENT 42
ODU 30
 
3rd
UTST 17
UNLV 13
 
3rd
MIZZ 10
VANDY 7
 
2nd
UCF 17
TEMPL 7
 
6:00pm Tonight
WASU
ARZ
7:00pm Tonight
CLEM
SYR
7:00pm Tonight
LAMON
TXST
7:00pm Tonight
TXSANANTO
UTEP
7:00pm Tonight
COLST
WYO
7:15pm Tonight
LSU
MISS
7:30pm Tonight
TENN
ALA
7:30pm Tonight
AUB
SCAR
8:00pm Tonight
PSU
OSU
10:00pm Tonight
UTAH
USC
10:45pm Tonight
WASH
ARST
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
NEV
3rd
SJS 1
BUF 2
 
7:00pm Tonight
TOR
BOS
7:00pm Tonight
NYI
DAL
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
DET
7:00pm Tonight
OTT
NJD
7:00pm Tonight
MON
NYR
8:00pm Tonight
STL
CHI
8:00pm Tonight
NAS
PIT
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
TAM
9:00pm Tonight
ARI
FLA
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
WAS
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14