After Further Review: Phil in fine form for U.S. Open


Each week, takes a look back at the week in golf. In this edition of After Further Review, our writers weigh in on Phil Mickelson's chances at the U.S. Open, Inbee Park's major run and the Langer-Montgomerie rivalry on the Champions Tour.

Phil Mickelson set himself up for even more U.S. Open heartbreak Sunday with a closing 65 in Memphis. Sporadic at best over the past two years, Lefty has now hit his stride with three top-5s in his last five starts.

Now comes Chambers Bay, a links-style course that Mickelson described as “special.” His wildness off the tee, his sagging short game and his propensity for big numbers give you pause, but this is Phil’s last best chance to win an Open.

He’s one of the few players with a positive mindset heading into Chambers Bay, and his imagination will give him a massive advantage at a place with so many humps, hollows and backboards. Dismiss Phil at your own risk. – Ryan Lavner

Everyone, it seems, knows Jack Nicklaus has won more major championships than anyone in the history of the men’s game.

But do you know who holds the record for winning the most women’s majors? Devoted fans of the women’s game know it’s Patty Berg – she won 15 – but the record isn’t held in the same regard as Nicklaus’ mark.

Maybe that’s because women’s majors don’t have the history of the men’s majors. Women’s majors have come and gone. The Women’s British Open didn’t get its start until 1976 and wasn’t considered an LPGA major until 2001. There was a time in the ‘70s when there were only two women’s majors.

Berg’s record seems safe for a while, but with the LPGA now playing five majors a year, her record might be something talked about more in the women’s game, especially if Inbee Park stays on this tear. Park’s victory Sunday at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship was her sixth major title overall and her fifth in the last 12 majors. – Randall Mell

While the PGA Tour continues to sort out a new top rivalry (Rory-Rickie? Rory-Jordan? Tiger-himself?), the Champions Tour has two clear frontrunners.

Bernhard Langer won his fifth Champions Tour major Sunday, while Colin Montgomerie turned in a third-place finish just hours after a trip to the hospital.

Monty and Langer have now combined to win each of the last six of the last seven senior majors, with three apiece. Though competitive balance may be good in the search for new young stars to lead the game forward, the Champions Tour was created so that the notable names of the past could continue to entertain fans and reign supreme.

With any luck, we’ll get more of these two going head to head. It’s a rivalry that’s good for the over-50 game. – Nick Menta