British Open chances: Can Phil Mickelson get it done at last?

Jay Busbee

This week before the British Open (or Open Championship for you across the pond), we will be previewing the top players in the world and their chances at Sandwich. We continue with the best-known American now that You-Know-Who isn't around.

Phil Mickelson

Current world ranking: 6

So far this year: He's got a win (back in April at the Shell Houston Open), but other than that, not much. A tie for 27th at the Masters and a tie for 54th at the U.S. Open ... unremarkable, Phil.

Record at the British Open: Er ... next question. He's got a solo third place in 2004, but that's really about it. He hasn't finished higher than a tie for 19th since then.

Why he could win: If he can bring that fabled short game to the rolling, rollicking links of Royal St. George's, he might have a puncher's chance. As Tom Watson showed, the British Open is the one major where craftiness around the greens can compensate for strength off the tee.

Why he could fall short: Because it's the British Open, and because Phil is about as out-of-place there as a Transformer in a "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie. (Which would be awesome, incidentally.) The weather, the links, the horror will all get to him and he'll fall apart in at least one of his rounds, alas.

Our take: Won't happen this year for Phil. It's possible he'll be able to rein in his aggression on the greens and play some smart golf, but don't count on it.

Your turn, folks. Is Phil primed to get over the hump this week?

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