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Bamberger: Not quite. My sleeper pick is someone else you may have heard of—Tom Watson. History shows that he knows this course better than anyone.
Garrity: But they've changed the course. His local knowledge is obsolete in places. I read that the exact spot where he chipped in from isn't the same anymore.
Bamberger: The USGA gave him an exemption for a reason.
Garrity: He's from Kansas City. That's good enough for me.
Van Sickle: Phil Mickelson is the obvious choice, but maybe too obvious. The winner is going to be a great scrambler, a chipper-and-putter type who can handle the wind. Justin Leonard fits that profile. So does Mike Weir, who has a history of playing Pebble pretty well. But I'm going with the man poised to be the new leading candidate for player of the year after he wins the Open—Zach Johnson. The man can putt.
Shipnuck: Sometimes obvious is good. Phil is stronger mentally, and his game is better than ever. Phil was already emboldened when it came to Tiger, and he's the only guy with the résumé, the game and the force of personality to stand up to him. Phil has grown into his place in the game. He's taking it deep this year.
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