Monday, June 22, 2009

Has Mickelson's moment arrived?

Phil Mickelson has 16 holes today to make it happen at the U.S. Open.

Can he still win?


Will he?

That may depend more on the two players five shots in front of him -- Lucas Glover and Ricky Barnes -- than on Phil.

Mickelson resumes his final round today at 2-under par, tied with David Duval, Ross Fisher and Hunter Mahan. The attention, though, is focused squarely on Lefty, who is adored by the muddy New York crowds.

To this point, Mickelson has done what's essential to win an Open -- hang around. He hasn't been among the leaders but he's been close enough to the front to remain relevant. Making two late birdies to close out his third round Sunday was huge. It kept him in the tournament.

If Mickelson can start fast today and make the co-leaders look over their shoulders, he has a chance. He'll be playing off the emotion of the crowd, not to mention his own personal emotion with wife, Amy, home with breast cancer.

A Mickelson victory today is still a long shot. But in a tournament that has been damp, dreary and disappointing to this point, maybe his moment has arrived.

It's time to find out.