June 17th, 2010
10:34 AM ET

U.S. Open: All eyes on Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods

U.S. Open watchers are going to be looking for which version of Tiger Woods will show up at the tournament.

There are several intriguing questions as the year's second major starts Pebble Beach on Thursday, but no questions are more central to this championship than the ones hanging over the game's top two players.

Phil Mickelson has never won a U.S. Open but has finished second five times. Is he fated to end his career without the trophy, as Sam Snead did? Does Mickelson lack some secret combination of fortitude and self-restraint? And will he ever take over Tiger's No. 1 ranking?

Golf.com: Live blogging the U.S. open

More vexing still: Where is the Tiger Woods who dominated the game like none other in 2000? Every so often, as he did with a stinger 2-iron during Wednesday’s practice round, he resurfaces, reminding us of that magical year when he won the U.S. Open at Pebble by 15 shots, but what a difference a decade makes.

Golf.com: Leaderboard and tee times

Other questions: Can a Euro win for the first time since Tony Jacklin in 1970? Can a player in his 20s prevail, as has happened 10 times on Tour already this season?

Can 60-year-old Tom Watson, the only man in the field to have played all four previous Opens at Pebble, get in the hunt to win, as he did at Turnberry last year at the British Open? He famously chipped in on 17 to win here in '82, and he could do well again if he can tame Pebble's brawny, 502-yard, par-4 second hole, one of the only holes that will require much length this week.

And if you need help catching up on where things stand going into the U.S. Open and what to expect, check out Golf.com's preview of the championship.

soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. EddyL

    NO... not all eyes... just all media.... I'm bored to death with the overexposure given this turd.

    June 17, 2010 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mike in phx

    Hey Tiger what do you think of the oil spill. They asked Oprah and she does not know anything so why not ask you.

    June 17, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • CS

      Did Oprah really say that? I too had a nagging feeling that she seemed to care more about South Africa and not much about Louisiana. That is sad!

      June 17, 2010 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  3. lisa

    If every extraordinary person (from Presidents to CEO's to Great athlete's)were to be thrown in the trash after lying and cheating our country would be in even worse shape than it already is. Every one is human and we all make mistakes. Move on and let Tiger fix his own life... it's his problem. And let him play some golf.....

    June 17, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  4. imjustsayin...

    I don't watch golf much, but when I do its only because of Tiger. Before and after scandal. For me there is no other compelling reason to watch. Unless John Daly is in the mix...

    June 17, 2010 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  5. CS

    Sorry! Until this oil spill is capped, and the entire Gulf of Mexico is cleaned up, who cares about Tiger Woods?
    Not me!

    June 17, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Go play

      go out and get a set of clubs and play. go out to a course in the middle of no where. even if you play like crap it is better than any day sitting on your "i" whateveritis and whining about somthing you cannot control. then you can add something interesting to the actual subject of the conversation. the most frustrating game in the world.

      June 17, 2010 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mariposa

    Way back when Woods started playing, I stopped watching golf. So long as he continues, I'll continue to boycott it. I do not like him, never trusted him and now believe I have and always have had good reason.

    June 17, 2010 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  7. mortie

    Not a good day for Mickelson. But I'm a Tiger fan. Go Tiger. Hope you bring back the excitement to the game. As far as his past. Who cares. Nobody is perfect. Move on people. Get a clue.

    June 17, 2010 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
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