Phil Mickelson's risky approach shots and all-or-nothing style will lead to a rough four days at the US Open. Mickelson has been criticized for playing too aggressively in the past and frankly, sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't.
In this situation, it won't work out too well.
Don't expect Mickelson to peel his aggression back, it's the only way he knows how to play. ESPN quoted him with this statement in 2002 pertaining to the International, and his play today still reflects these sentiments:
"I play my best golf when I play aggressive, when I attack, when I create shots. This is a perfect fit for me. Birdie rewards you more than bogey hurts you."
While that philosophy may be effective on some courses, like Augusta National, it isn't a smart approach at the Olympic in San Francisco. This is a treacherous 18 holes and as much as birdies and even eagles will help golfers, unnecessary bogeys will kill their chances.
With so many dastardly placed hazards around the greens and viciously slanted fairways, playing this course straight is a must. Risk-taking must be kept at a minimum, and successful players will choose their spots wisely.
With Tiger Woods being called the favorite and seemingly ready to seize control of the game again, Mickelson's competitive juices are probably flowing like a river.
He won't curtail his approaches, he'll blast away, and take as many chances as he ever has. He won't find much success in this tournament, but it should be entertaining.
Mickelson's name is being mentioned as much as Woods, Rory McIlory and even Bubba Watson. This will drive Lefty, but I believe it'll drive him to play a style that hurts his chances.
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