I've heard all the reasons, at least most of them, for Phil Mickelson's history of poor play at the British Open. I've narrowed my list of finalists – the ones that make the most sense – down to three:
1. Long swing. In any type of inclement or unseasonable weather, a move with a lot of moving parts and excess backswing will be affected more than a tighter motion. It's a law of physics, or should be.
2. California kid. Mickelson never played in rain, chilly temps or high winds growing up. Why would he? When you're born and raised in San Diego, you just wait until tomorrow, when it will be 71 and sunny.
3. Fish out of water. More than most players, I think Philly Mick enjoys the comforts and largesse of America. A medium-rare steak and a nice, green salad, seven or eight ice cubes in his soft drink....Seriously, some players handle the cultural differences better than others. I've always thought of the British Open as a camping trip more than an assignment.
Mickelson's wife, Amy, hasn't made the trip in years -- not since their kids were old enough to enjoy their summers in California. Things like that matter, especially to guys like Lefty.