Major victory: Mickelson, a Big Two?

mulligan, 15 August 2005, Comments Off on Major victory: Mickelson, a Big Two?
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With Phil Mickelson’s impressive PGA Championship victory, leading or tied for the lead at the end of each day, it’s worth revisiting the issue of the demise of the so-called Big Five. After the British Open, we — along with others in the press — were quick to bury the talk of a Big Five, since no one of the group seemed to step up at the majors this year. See Big Five frustration (July 17, 2005).

Well, Phil has spoken again. Winning major No. 2 puts him in a tie with Tiger Woods in major victories in the past two years. To me, of the rest of the Big Five (excluding Tiger), Phil Mickelson seems to have the best strategy and team of pros (Rick Smith and Dave Pelz) to excel at the majors. Vijay’s putter is too balky; Ernie’s injury to his ACL raises a huge question mark, as does the iceman Retief Goosen’s meltdown at Pinehurst. And, quite frankly, Tiger v. Lefty is the most exciting matchup of the lot.

To me, the microcosm of the entire major season occurred back in March at the Ford Championship, when Tiger and Phil dueled shot for shot with Tiger winnning. See The Golf Blog’s recap on March 6, 2005. That’s the tournament after which I thought that Tiger would go on to win at least 2 majors this year, given his return to form. What I didn’t know, though, was how well Phil would respond after that loss when he sounded stunned in losing. After his lackluster play at the majors this year, especially compared to last year’s stellar play, I thought Phil might have lost some of his edge. Well, I’m glad to see it returned this past week at the PGA.


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