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Phil Mickelson is the hottest player in golf. He is the one everybody else in the game is watching right now because he has figured out a methodology that works unquestionably in preparing for major championships. And he has decided, at least for now, two drivers in the bag at the same time are better than one.
 
Moreover, I will not argue with anyone who tells me today that Mickelson is the early-line favorite for the U.S. Open at Winged Foot in June.
 
None of which disabuses me of the notion that Tiger Woods is the best player ever to put a peg in the ground..aaannnddd..by the time Woods finishes playing competitively all the significant records in golf will appear to be out of reach for anybody else.
 
  • Lay off the twentysomethings.
     
    Five players in their 20s have won on the PGA Tour this year. Their names are Aaron Baddeley, Luke Donald, Geoff Ogilvy, J.B. Holmes and Rory Sabbatini. Sabbatini has since turned 30. But he was 29 when he won at Riviera in February.
     
    Only three players, older than 30 and currently ranked in the top 10 in the world, have won on the PGA Tour this year. They are Woods, Mickelson and David Toms.
     
  • With the resurgence of Lorena Ochoa, the LPGAs current leading money winner in 2006, and the appearance of Seon Hwa Lee as that Tours best rookie, womens golf has gone from being hot to being red hot.
     
  • I thought the Round of the Year in golf was clearly the 67 Stephen Ames fashioned, while comfortably in the zone, during the final round of his winning week at The Players Championship in March.
     
    Then I watched Mickelsons 69 under the microscope and pressure of the final round of the Masters.
     
    Mickelson never changed his playing rhythm. He never shrank from the situation. He never played the wrong shot. He didnt make a false move.
     
    His 69, all things considered, was better than Ames 67.
     
  • Hartford getting a reprieve from the Tour and new title sponsor St. Paul Travelers is the biggest sports story in that city since the Whalers left town nine years ago.
     
  • The Masters next special invitation should go to Indias Jeev Milkha Singh, who won Sunday on the European Tour.
     
    Singhs father, by the way, broke the Olympic record in the 400 meters at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome.
     
    The kicker, pun intended, is the elder Singh was running barefoot. He finished fourth because the three men who beat him also broke the Olympic record that day.
     
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