Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Phil Mickelson Turns 40, So is He Still the Favorite?
Be honest. When you're 40, things just don't work the same as they did when you were 25. The knees start to ache, the back requires nightly Aleve and your focus is more on rounding out your career than defining it.
That is, unless you're a professional golfer. The older you get these days, the better chance it seems you have at winning the big golf tournament.
Kenny Perry nearly stole the 2009 Masters at the ripe age of 48. Tom Watson had an incredible chance to win the '09 British Open at the remarkable age of 59.
The problem is, both almost pulled off the feat, but couldn't, and as Phil Mickelson celebrated his 40th birthday on Wednesday at Cypress Point, the question is worth asking; how many more of these things can Lefty actually compete in?
As my colleague Jay Busbee points out, Watson and Arnold Palmer never picked up a major championship after they turned 35 and 34, respectively, and Jack Nicklaus won only that heroic '86 Masters after rolling past the big 4-0. While it seems Phil is playing as good as ever, the clock is ticking on his career and it seems he will only have a few more legitimate shots at winning this championship that continually seems to elude him.
Is he the favorite this week at Pebble Beach? You're damn right he is, and arguably the only favorite save you Dustin Johnson. If he doesn't pick up this U.S. Open, are there very many more he could win? That is the question that time will have a lot to say about.