The PGA TOUR Year from Here

RSS

Phil Mickelson for PGA TOUR Player of the Year. Mark it down. Phil Mickelson to win two of the next three majors. Mark it down. Butch Harmon as the greatest teacher ever to check someones alignment. Mark that down as well.
 
Okay, okay. lets not get too far ahead of ourselves. Im just trying to get your attention.
 
But what do we make of the rest of the PGA TOUR season? Is the Tiger-Phil rivalry officially ready to explode?
 
Last Sundays finish to THE PLAYERS Championship gave us Phil front and center. And now, with Mickelson just $60,000 behind Tiger in the money race, 889 points back of leader Woods in the FedExCup Points race and now second in the Official World Golf Ranking ' can we officially drop all other storylines for the rest of the year?
 
Thats my question to you.
 
Is it only Tiger and Phil? Is that the best story we have going? Is it the best possible story to carry with us the rest of the season?
 
The argument for it is simple: Its like the Red Sox and the Yankees. The two biggest giants in their respective sport grabbing the headlines and making us wait for the next series. All other names would struggle to garner the same juicy gossip and the same intrigue.
 
The argument against is also worthy: Hey ' what about Els and Goosen, Singh and Scott, Furyk and Ogilvy, Donald and Garcia? For all of the talk about Tiger and Phil ' where have Ernie, Retief and Sergio gone? Twenty-four events between them and a collective zero wins. Theyd better step up or step aside. Tiger and Phil have five wins in 19 events.
 
Why is it that guys like Ernie and Retief and Sergio cant seem to get to the winners circle in a normal full-field event ' let alone a major. To me, thats the most surprising story right now in golf. The odds of winning a major seem equal now to winning the Honda Classic for that trio.
 
Winning a major is one thing. Amassing a collection of non-green jackets for regular PGA TOUR wins doesnt seem to be happening for this trio.
 
So maybe Els and Garcia are pulling over to the shoulder to let guys like Henrik Stenson and Geoff Ogilvy zip by in the passing lane. It just seems hard to get used to.
 
And maybe the story right now is the collection of players who find themselves building resumes that will make a potential major title not seem so surprising. Zach Johnson had just one win before the Masters. Maybe the two on Aaron Baddeleys resume will make him just as believable when he wins one.
 
For what its worth, I love the fact that Phil is Butchs new sundance kid. That win at THE PLAYERS under sunny skies on Sunday was just what the PGA TOUR and professional golf needed. Two big stars pushing toward the U.S. Open with some serious steam.
 
Tiger thrives on competition ' and usually chews it up and spits it out like a piece of tough steak.
 
Butch Harmon loves a little competition. And the chance to take aim at a player he helped to build to the highest level can only make his engine purr a little louder.
 
And Mickelson has always wanted that something extra in his tank that might make this whole Tiger vs. Phil battle a little more believable. This time he might really have it.
 
The summer heat is on. Its on Tiger. Phil has his share of it. And so too does the collection of players we used to talk of in rivalry terms.
 
Woods and Mickelson are scheduled to compete at the Memorial Tournament which should be fun. But I cant wait for Oakmont and the U.S. Open.
 
Hank Haney and Butch Harmon are probably thinking the same thing.
 
Email your thoughts to Kraig Kann