2011 US Open Golf: 10 Reasons Phil Mickelson Will Miss the Cut at Congressional

Andrew KulhaSenior Analyst IIIJune 15, 2011

2011 US Open Golf: 10 Reasons Phil Mickelson Will Miss the Cut at Congressional

0 of 10

    PEBBLE BEACH, CA - JUNE 18:  Phil Mickelson reacts to missed putt on the 14th green during the second round of the 110th U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links on June 18, 2010 in Pebble Beach, California.  (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
    Donald Miralle/Getty Images

    Is it possible that this is finally the year that Phil Mickelson can capture the U.S. Open?

    Many people are calling this a window of opportunity for “lefty” because the tournament field is wide open with the absence of Tiger Woods.

    For years, Mickelson was tabbed as the guy who couldn’t win a major championship, but even though he shed that label in impressive fashion, people still don’t seem like they will be satisfied until he wins the U.S. Open.

    In fact, I don't believe that he will be satisfied until he wins it, but time is running out!

    Some are saying that Mickelson is one of the favorites to win, but what if he can’t even make the cut?!

    I have a couple theories that may just bring about that scenario.

    Here are 10 reasons why Phil Mickelson will miss the cut at Congressional:

10. Bad Luck

1 of 10

    PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL - MAY 12:  Phil Mickelson hits his tee shot on the 15th hole during the first round of THE PLAYERS Championship held at THE PLAYERS Stadium course at TPC Sawgrass on May 12, 2011 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Streeter Lec
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    I don’t even think I need to explain this one.

    If lady luck isn’t on your side, then there is literally nothing you can do to get out of the bad luck funk.

    You know what they always say,

    Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good…

9. Age

2 of 10

    BETHESDA, MD - JUNE 14:  Phil Mickelson hits a shot during a practice round prior to the start of the 111th U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club on June 14, 2011 in Bethesda, Maryland.  (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
    Andrew Redington/Getty Images

    I think Lefty is in pretty good shape, but could the general shape at his age play a factor?

    He turns 41 Thursday, which means he is starting to creep up closer to the hill that he will eventually be pushed over...

    He's dealt with arthritis, but will that come back to plague him?

    Let’s be honest here, he is no spring chicken, and there will be a lot of physical pressure on the guy to come through.

8. Europeans

3 of 10

    BETHESDA, MD - JUNE 14:  Luke Donald of England waits on the practice ground during a practice round prior to the start of the 111th U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club on June 14, 2011 in Bethesda, Maryland.  (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
    Andrew Redington/Getty Images

    This sounds like something straight out of a “Rocky” movie, but I think that the dominance of the European players in golf right now might just be too much for Mickelson to handle.

    Europeans hold the top three spots in the world rankings as well as all four of the majors.

    Sounds like a grudge match to me.

7. History

4 of 10

    PEBBLE BEACH, CA - JUNE 19:  Phil Mickelson walks across the frst green during the third round of the 110th U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links on June 19, 2010 in Pebble Beach, California.  (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
    Donald Miralle/Getty Images

    History has Phil Mickelson at 0-for-20 at the U.S. Open.

    One way to look at that is that the odds of him eventually coming across a win are in his favor.

    The other is to say that history does not smile on Mickelson doing well in this championship.

6. Overconfidence

5 of 10

    BETHESDA, MD - JUNE 14:  Phil Mickelson waits to play a shot during a practice round prior to the start of the 111th U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club on June 14, 2011 in Bethesda, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    Could overconfidence play a key in the potential demise of Mickelson?

    Many are considering him to be a big player in this tournament, and with the quotes of the field being “wide open,” could lefty perhaps let his guard down a bit and falter?

    It is an interesting proposition that is for sure…

5. The Course

6 of 10

    BETHESDA, MD - JUNE 14:  Phil Mickelson watches a shot during a practice round prior to the start of the 111th U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club on June 14, 2011 in Bethesda, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    According to Mike Kern of the Philadelphia Daily News, Mickelson likes Congressional because “the hard holes are really hard, and the easy holes are fairly easy.”

    Congressional may have a couple holes that can provide birdies, but he could just as well bogey, and if that bad momentum carries, we could see Mickelson out of the running real fast.

4. Putter

7 of 10

    PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL - MAY 13:  Phil Mickelson putts on the 11th green during the second round of THE PLAYERS Championship held at THE PLAYERS Stadium course at TPC Sawgrass on May 13, 2011 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Ima
    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    It’s no secret that Mickelson has been struggling with his putter as of late.

    If he can’t make the shots when he needs to, then there is no way he will be making the cut.

3. Swing Change

8 of 10

    PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL - MAY 05:  Phil Mickelson uses a pitching wedge on the practice range in swing sequence frame 7 of 12 during a practice round prior to the start of THE PLAYERS Championship held at THE PLAYERS Stadium course at TPC Sawgrass on May 5,
    Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

    Because of injuries, Mickelson has had to change the way he swings. It is a little bit longer and flowing than what we are used to seeing from him.

    Now, that may sound like a good thing, but I wonder if it will come back to bite him?

    When the chips are down, athletes will usually go back to their natural tendencies, and I think we may see lefty start fighting himself on the form when the pressure is on.

2. Pressure

9 of 10

    PEBBLE BEACH, CA - JUNE 17:  Phil Mickelson looks on from the second hole during the first round of the 110th U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links on June 17, 2010 in Pebble Beach, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Honestly, how many more cracks do you think Mickelson is going to get at the U.S. Open?

    With Tiger out many are considering this to be his best shot at taking it, but with his awful history and the pressure of being “the guy” without Tiger on the course, it just might end up getting to him.

    Also, keep it mind that he's currently the only American golfer that the masses will take interest in, and with the Europeans coming on strong, a lot of the pressure of "American golf" will be squarely on his shoulders.

1. No Tiger

10 of 10

    DORAL, FL - MARCH 10:  Tiger Woods (R) and Phil Mickelson watch a shot on the tenth hole during the first round of the 2011 WGC- Cadillac Championship at the TPC Blue Monster at the Doral Golf Resort and Spa on March 10, 2011 in Doral, Florida.  (Photo by
    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    Mickelson has admitted that Tiger Woods has been a driving factor behind elevating his own game.

    Many think that without Tiger the field will be wide open for Mickelson, but in reality, it could be the opposite.

    Here is a Mickelson quote on the topic courtesy of Mike Kern of the Philadelphia Daily News:

    "I've always felt that Tiger has helped bring out some of my best golf over the years," Mickelson noted. "And even though my record against him may not be the best, it's helped me achieve a higher level that I may not have achieved had he not been pushing me.

    "So the challenge now without him playing his best or even competing like he's not this week is pushing myself to achieve a level of play that is in there without him forcing me to do so. So in that sense it might be a little bit more difficult."

    Follow Andrew on Twitter: @AKonSports