Friday, June 15, 2007

Does Mickelson have IT?


I hate to compare great athletes, but here you have it. Phil Mickelson misses the cut in the 2007 U.S. Open in eerily similar fashion to what Tiger Woods did in 2006.

Tiger shot rounds of 76-76 (152) in ’06 while Mickelson finished his attempt at Oakmont with rounds of 74-77 (151). Tiger was bothered with the death of his father last year while Mickelson struggled with the physical pain of his wrist the past few weeks.

The bottom line – Tiger decided to go all 2000 on us, winning the British Open and PGA Championship during a seven tournament-winning streak. Missing the cut in the national championship truly pissed off Woods, lighting a fire under his ass that you don’t see much in individual sports (You almost expect a similar thing to happen in Wimbledon this month if Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal meet and Federer spanks him like an P.E. teacher).

Do you think there is any way that this, missing the cut in very un-Phil fashion, could light a fire under Lefty? The guy has been to third base over the last year at majors and just can’t seal the deal. Does Lefty have that devil on his shoulder that erases his cheesy smile for a few months and replaces it with a Jack Nicholson smirk?

Can this injury/missed cut/embarrassment prove to be the thing that volts Mr. Mickelson into the major maestro that Tiger has coined? Many questions, only one way to answer – production.

John Biever/SI

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