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. HarleyBob

    Go Tiger, I know you can do better this time... I am your fan... Be Grace with you always....

    June 17, 2010 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Jkevin

      Hey Bob,
      Whose grace???

      June 17, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • pockets

      He has to learn about life and the treatment of others, what money has done to him , no one would want. He is truly a shell of a person. He's a good golfer, that's it. Nothing more and nothing less. When he is dead and gone, he will have records on a wall that people can go and look at, other than that, what else is there??? Has he helped his own black people out, shared his wealth with them like Oprah, the answer is quite clearly, he has not, he's only looking out for himself. Go Phil Go.

      June 17, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • pockets

      "Grace" is this a religious nutbar statement? Grace? How about your prayers to an non-existent diety in the sky, you know the one who put Adam and Eve in a garden with a talking snake with a hankering for apples? Helloooo. Thank Zeus that religion is dying out, its on its last legs and the sooner this cancer is gone the better. Grace? .. LOL

      June 17, 2010 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  2. snakehead

    Who sares? Must be a slow day at CNN

    June 17, 2010 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
    • atti

      I don't sare one bit. Never did. I hope he tanks. Imagine what his kids will have to hear when they get to be school age.

      June 17, 2010 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Tim from Toledo

      I sare! I sare a lot!
      I don't think I've sared about anything more in my whole life!

      Boy – if you don't sare about this, what else is there to sare about?

      June 17, 2010 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
    • madmax265

      yeah slow day...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1o7BpCnYF0g

      June 20, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  3. B. Taylor

    WHAT A COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME! I've been watching the hearing this morning between Congress and CEO of BP. By now I believe everyone knows what happened. BP has admitted making mistakes. End of story. It's appalling – I completely agree with Barton on this matter and that for the most part Government should stay out of it other than trying to help with gather ships and equipment from around the world to aid in the cleanup. And, to try to enlist any help in finding experts who could possibly aid in stopping the flow of oil. And besides, where was the oversight – Govt. knew about most all of BP's shortcomings – so let's investigate them. As I previously stated, such a waste of time – they would do better to go down to the Gulf and help clean up. At least they would be accomplishing something worthwhile instead of sitting around and going thru this entourage of statements of BP's faults. I think I know where this is going – some kind of criminal charges against BP and it's my opinion it was orchestrated by the President and/or Democrat party to move the focus off their ineptness and onto BP.

    June 17, 2010 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
    • RickInPA

      Aunt Bea Taylor – I believe u r in the wrong thread:)

      June 17, 2010 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
    • intel in the eye of the the storm of stupidity

      Speaking of knowing where something is going, I knew where this comment was going. Every Obama hating right wing republican uses any and every forum as an opportunity to blame Obama for something that’s going wrong in the government. The Bottom line is this BP made a mistake that cost people their lives and several others their livelihood. Just like every other American who is in the lime line light, (like Tiger Woods) they are going to have to take your public lumps. That’s just the nature of our country. As for the government’s involvement in this matter, someone needs to make sure that the people affected by this tragedy are compensated and BP is not going to do it on their own.

      June 17, 2010 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  4. LRC

    COME ON TIGER YOU CAN DO IT. YOU'RE THE ONLY REASON ALL OF US WATCH. IGNORE ALL THE BUMS AND NEGATIVITY/JEALOUS. YOU'RE THE BEST AND ALWAYS WILL BE. GOOD LUCK

    June 17, 2010 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
    • RickInPA

      This was true for me at one time, but no longer. There are so many young talents on tour ready to break out: Kim, Mckilroy, Fowler, Villegas, etc. Phil is playing well and over-due for an Open, and many older favs are playing well. So right now – PGA is fun without Tiger. Now if he gets back in the mix then we can turn up the fun-dial!

      June 17, 2010 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Caro

      Ditto

      June 17, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  5. bob

    You are incorrect. My eyes will NOT be on Woods. Never ever again. Only headlines I want to see is he misses the cut. That would be great.......

    June 17, 2010 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Acer15094

      You say your eyes will never be on Tiger again. So, that means you watched him before the scandal. Were you watching him before because he was such a perfect and decent father and husband or because he was a great golfer? Don't lose focus of why you watch and love golf. Nobody is perfect, including you and me. Return to watching Tiger and all the other guys play because you love the game. How do you know if your (new) favorite golfer is not a cheating b*stard? You don't. Don't lose focus on the game, my friend.

      June 17, 2010 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  6. Jan Aylsworth

    See my Organizational Psychology Examiner column:

    Hidden clues in Tiger Woods' apology
    http://bit.ly/aTwuR6

    June 17, 2010 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  7. pjd39

    the heck with the naysayers. Go Tiger, show them what you are capable of. All the ones that constantly throw stones, can't convince me they have no past discretions in their life.mmmmm wonder if they have nail holes in their hands,only one is completely sin free and he is Jesus.,

    June 17, 2010 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  8. Who Cares

    Please start giving the other golfers their due and cover their accomplishments and let us begin to know them better. I do not care about Tiger Woods and am tired of hearing about him. Let's move beyond him. Golf was there before him and will be there after him. The other players deserve more coverage.

    June 17, 2010 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jim

    "All eyes on golf"??!! I can't believe this is a headline during World Cup. Woods is old news.

    June 17, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Hugee Rekshun

    Go Tiger! I know you are dying to know if I got the maid pregant but its none of your business. You are the only reason I watch golf tournaments. If you are not in them I dont watch them. Period.

    June 17, 2010 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jaycutty

    The day anthony Kim does anything that resembles play great golf for more than one tournament is the day that Tiger shoots a 100..not going to happen...Get off yor rocker half the players you mentioned are garbage

    June 17, 2010 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  12. tigerrrr

    You can do it Tiger. Keep your calm and make your famous shots. we need to see a big victory from you. show everyone that your personal life is NONE of there business.

    June 17, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  13. tessa

    who cares? Tiger lost his mojo in more ways than one. Liar, cheater, creep.

    June 17, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • mortie

      Must be nice to be perfect. Move on. Obviously you are not a golf fan. Tiger will always be the best golfer ever. GO TIGER.

      June 17, 2010 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Gina

    I'm a Tiger fan, but I think it's time for someone new to win. I went to the practice rounds at Pebble yesterday and it was really great to see some of the younger talents interact with the fans. My favorite, Ricky Barnes, must've signed about 30 autographs just between the 13th and 14th holes! My dad chatted with Mckilroy and got his auto. on his hat. They were having fun and looked excited, and I think that's great to see. Best of luck to everyone, but especially Barnes. ❤

    June 17, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Golfer

    Let me guess tessa, you must rely on others to raise your kids rather than you teaching them from right and wrong. When did tiger cheat on the golf course? when was he sent home from a tourney for inappropriate behavior? He's a "GOLFER". Someone who gets paid for his talent on the course. You are such a loser to worry about anything in his personal life. I'm sure your past is squeaky though, stay classy tool.

    June 17, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
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