The story line for this week’s US open began to write itself 15 years ago. Shortly after Payne Stewart’s iconic leg up ,fist pump, a younger and lighter Phil Mickelson had his little head squished by Payne and told some of the most life changing advice. Phil was a different man. He wasn’t yet the Phil we know today. A decade and a half later, we return to Pinehurst and the restoration of the #2 course. This course is going to demand two things. A great short game and the ability to recover. Taking out fellow lefty Bubba Watson from the mix, there is only one magician capable of going low this week, and we have been waiting all year to use him in the pool. That artist is Phil Mickelson and #2 is about to become his best canvas yet.
We could talk about stats or signs of trending performance or even how he likes the new course but we don’t have to. We take Phil to win because golf needs this right now. Golf fans have become sleepy and are in need of a huge ordeal to get excited again and wake up. A career grand slam while the ghost of Payne looks down on him will make the entire world get giddy about golf again. A feat of this magnitude and set up so perfectly will become one of the stories we tell our grandchildren we were alive for. If not for any of those reason, a Phil win this week would wake a sleeping Tiger and the ripple effect from that would be monumental.