You are currently viewing the printable version of this article, to return to the normal page, please click here.

Mickelson gets best chance yet at No. 1

- Associated Press - Monday, June 14, 2010

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Masters champion Phil Mickelson has another chance to replace Tiger Woods at No. 1 in the world this week at the U.S. Open, and this might be his best chance yet.

Mickelson can reach No. 1 for the first time in his career by winning at Pebble Beach. But there are more scenarios in Mickelson's favor.

He would go to No. 1 by finishing runner-up as long as Woods finishes out of the top four. Mickelson could finish third at the U.S. Open and go to No. 1 if Woods were to finish out of the top 18.

If Woods misses the cut, Mickelson would need no worse than a two-way tie for third.

Woods has been No. 1 for the last five years.

 

 

 

A capsule look at 20 notable players in the U.S. Open, to be played June 17-20 at Pebble Beach Golf Links:

 

THE ENCORES

 

TIGER WOODS

Age: 34.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 1.

Worldwide victories: 82.

Majors: Masters (4), U.S. Open (3), British Open (3), PGA Championship (4).

Birdie: His 15-shot victory at Pebble Beach in the 2000 U.S. Open is considered the greatest feat in a single major.

Bogey: He was at peace with himself and with his game in the 2000 U.S. Open. He is at peace with neither at the moment.

 

LUCAS GLOVER

Age: 30.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 20.

Worldwide victories: 2.

Majors: U.S. Open (1).

Birdie: At least he knows he can win a major, delivering key shots with Phil Mickelson on his heels and the entire state of New York pulling for Lefty at Bethpage last year.

Bogey: The last back-to-back U.S. Open champion was Curtis Strange in 1989. Before that it was Ben Hogan in 1951.

 

DUSTIN JOHNSON

Age: 25.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 28.

Worldwide victories: 3.

Majors: None.

Birdie: Has won the last two tournaments at Pebble Beach.

Bogey: Has not cracked the top 40 in the two U.S. Opens he has played.

 

SEEKING A MISSING LINK

 

PHIL MICKELSON

Age: 40 (on Wednesday of the U.S. Open).

Country: United States.

World ranking: 2.

Worldwide victories: 40.

Majors: Masters (2), PGA Championship (1).

Birdie: With a record five runner-up finishes, no one has wanted a U.S. Open this badly since Sam Snead.

Bogey: Five runner-up finishes means a lot of baggage to carry around the U.S. Open.

 

PADRAIG HARRINGTON

Age: 38.

Country: Ireland.

World ranking: 14.

Worldwide victories: 21.

Majors: British Open (2), PGA Championship (1).

Birdie: Get him to the back nine of a major, and he's as dangerous as anyone in golf.

Bogey: Hasn't won a recognized tournament since his last major at Oakland Hills in 2008.

 

VIJAY SINGH

Age: 47.

Country: Fiji.

World ranking: 61.

Worldwide victories: 56.

Majors: Masters (1), PGA Championship (2).

Birdie: Playing in his 64th consecutive major, the longest active streak in golf.

Bogey: Playing so poorly over the last two years that he needed a special exemption to get into Pebble Beach.

 

BEST WITHOUT A MAJOR

 

LEE WESTWOOD

Age: 37.

Country: England.

World ranking: 3.

Worldwide victories: 30.

Majors: None.

Birdie: Has finished no worse than third in the last three majors.

Bogey: Missed putts inside 15 feet the two times he had a chance to get into a playoff at a major.

 

STEVE STRICKER

Age: 43.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 4.

Worldwide victories: 7.

Majors: None.

Birdie: Has been in contention twice in the last four years at the U.S. Open on the strength of being one of golf's best putters.

Bogey: Will be playing on some of the bumpiest greens for a U.S. Open.

 

ADAM SCOTT

Age: 29.

Country: Australia.

World ranking: 43.

Worldwide victories: 17.

Majors: None.

Birdie: Has won twice in the last six months as he climbs out of a slump.

Bogey: Tied for 52nd at Pebble Beach in February, his first time playing the course since the 1999 U.S. Amateur.

 

SERGIO GARCIA

Age: 30.

Country: Spain.

World ranking: 37.

Worldwide victories: 19.

Majors: None.

Birdie: Has been contending in majors since he was 19.

Bogey: Has not been able to win a tournament in two years.

 

HOT HANDS

 

ERNIE ELS

Age: 40.

Country: South Africa.

World ranking: 7.

Worldwide victories: 62.

Majors: U.S. Open (2), British Open (1).

Birdie: Finished runner-up the last time the U.S. Open was at Pebble Beach.

Bogey: Finished 15 shots behind Tiger Woods the last time U.S. Open was at Pebble Beach.

 

JIM FURYK

Age: 40.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 5.

Worldwide victories: 15.

Majors: U.S. Open (1).

Birdie: Until this year, had never won multiple times on the PGA Tour before the U.S. Open.

Bogey: His last time in the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, he shot 84 in the third round and finished his final round before breakfast.

 

IAN POULTER

Age: 34.

Country: England.

World ranking: 6.

Worldwide victories: 9.

Majors: None.

Birdie: His short game should be a good fit for any U.S. Open.

Bogey: The U.S. Open is the only major in which he doesn't have a top-10.

 

ROBERT ALLENBY

Age: 38.

Country: Australia.

World ranking: 13.

Worldwide victories: 22.

Majors: None.

Birdie: For the most part, has been on top of his game striking the ball since November, held back only by his putting.

Bogey: You have to putt well to win the U.S. Open.

 

RORY McILROY

Age: 21.

Country: Northern Ireland.

World ranking: 10.

Worldwide victories: 2.

Majors: None.

Birdie: Winning at Quail Hollow is strong. Winning at Quail Hollow with a 62 in the final round is special.

Bogey: Followed that incredible win at Quail Hollow with a missed cut. Consistency still lacking.

 

OPEN CATEGORY

 

ANGEL CABRERA

Age: 40.

Country: Argentina.

World ranking: 30.

Worldwide victories: 19.

Majors: Masters (1), U.S. Open (1).

Birdie: A streaky two-time major winner, won his U.S. Open on greens reputed to be the fastest in golf.

Bogey: Pebble Beach has some of the smallest greens of a U.S. Open.

 

GEOFF OGILVY

Age: 33.

Country: Australia.

World ranking: 18.

Worldwide victories: 8.

Majors: U.S. Open (1).

Birdie: His only victory this year (Kapalua) offered splendid views of the Pacific Ocean.

Bogey: There were only 27 other players at Kapalua, and the fairways were 80 yards wide.

 

STEWART CINK

Age: 37.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 27.

Worldwide victories: 6.

Majors: British Open (1).

Birdie: He tied for eighth in the last U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.

Bogey: Hasn't finished eighth or better in stroke play all year.

 

LONG SHOT

 

DAVID DUVAL

Age: 38.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 138.

Worldwide victories: 14.

Majors: British Open (1).

Birdie: Qualified for this U.S. Open with an out-of-nowhere runner-up finish at Bethpage Black.

Bogey: In final event before U.S. Open, shot 79-79 at the Memorial.

 

SENTIMENTAL FAVORITE

 

TOM WATSON

Age: 60

Country: United States.

World ranking: 125.

Worldwide victories: 43.

Majors: Masters (2), U.S. Open (1), British Open (5).

Birdie: The only player to compete in every U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, including his victory in 1982.

Bogey: Didn't break par in any of the four rounds in 2000 U.S. Open when he was only 50.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.