- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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Bamberger: Way upbeat.
Shipnuck: He's going to contend for sure.
Bamberger: You can't bring the guy down. His family has been dealt some difficult things in the past year, yet he was one of six guys who could've or should've won the U.S. Open. He ties for fourth at Pebble and cracks the best line of the week: "At least I didn't finish second."
Anonymous Pro: It's the same old thing with Phil—he's always going to hit it well enough, but is he going to make any putts? You can't play super aggressively around St. Andrews because of the bunkering. If Phil is going to win an Open, I agree, this is the venue for him if he can manage his tee ball. But I'm not convinced he has the putting down. The putting is his wild card. It always is. He either runs the table or misses some short ones. He missed some short ones at Pebble, although everyone did. It was like a cobblestone road out there.
Garrity: I didn't view Phil's U.S. Open performance as enigmatic. He had his brilliant round, he stayed in contention to the end, he had another high finish. Pebble was simply punishing. You needed a few breaks to win.
Shipnuck: Phil's British Open record is very weak, other than just missing that playoff with Ernie Els and Todd Hamilton . Phil said everyone thinks he can't play in the wind because of his high ball flight, but it's actually been the greens. You can't replicate those greens in any kind of preparation—the grain, the slopes, the slowness.
Anonymous Pro: Right. The Old Course greens are different. It's different grass. The slowness makes you hit the ball a little more than you're used to. You have to put a little more pop in it, and that's not Phil's stroke.
Shipnuck: Phil said he is going to commute from Loch Lomond to the Old Course on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday before the Scottish Open and do some work.
Van Sickle: Phil is as long as anybody in the game. He may simply overpower the course the way Tiger Woods and John Daly did, run out a bunch of drives past 350 and wedge the field to death. At 40 he's longer than ever. You have to give him credit.
Hack: Good point about his length. He was hitting wedges 160 yards at Pebble. And his driver was ridiculous.