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The Nearly Men
Van Sickle: Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson had chances to win the British Open but came up short on the final nine. Do you view that positively or negatively?
Hack: I was impressed with how Dustin played. He does seem to have this fatalistic streak, though. The one hole with out-of-bounds at Royal St. George's, he found it with a two-iron. That's a little troublesome.
Shipnuck: What Dustin and Phil have in common is that they're not tortured by their near misses, they just keep coming back for more. That's an enviable trait in a sport in which you've had a great year if you fail in only 90 percent of your tournaments.
Bamberger: Dustin is a huge talent. His length is off the charts. He doesn't have the maturity or sophistication of some players who are younger, like Rory. He's more like a supertalented college kid. The way to win majors, at least for everyone but Tiger, is to contend. If you contend in enough majors, like Dustin is doing, you're going to win one.
Van Sickle: Dustin has had a chance to win three of the four majors already. We saw that same trend before with a kid named McIlroy. How'd that turn out?
Shipnuck: Dustin is the straightest hitter among the megabombers. His putting is very streaky, which is another way of saying he has some lousy putting weeks. But he's going to turn up at a major with a hot putter a few times and win going away.
Bamberger: Look how he has handled the disappointments, the U.S. Open and the PGA last year. He has really shown what they call "bounce-ability" in baseball.
Anonymous Pro: How many more chances can Dustin kick away before it starts to affect him? If he plays well at the PGA, everybody is going to be waiting on the final nine for the Big Screwup, even him. He'll be thinking, What's going to happen this time? Unless he has a huge lead, like Rory did at Congressional.
Van Sickle: What about his pal, Phil? He threw away four or five shots on missed short putts at the British. And he's been doing that on a regular basis. It has to be discouraging for him.