Is Mickelson's reputation irreparable after his US Open shenanigans?June 18, 2018
In our final US Open Fourball, the NCG team discuss the main talking points of the week: Phil Mickelson, the USGA, Brooks Koepka and Tommy Fleetwood
James:Why do we love some golfers yet care very little for others? Fleetwood is one of the most likeable tour players ever. Yet there seems to be very little love for Koepka and DJ. What is it that makes us like some players and not others?
Keel: It’s very simple. Tommy Fleetwood as you say is one of the nicest players on tour. His interviews are genuinely insightful and offer a lot more than the usual tour player. Oh, and he has cool hair.
Dan: Generally speaking, it’s nationality. Plus it’s always nice to hero-worship/character-assassinate a player based entirely on watching their behaviour while hacking out from the rough at the Open five years ago.
Mark: Personally I find Johnson plain dull, he very rarely says anything of interest which might be down to he has nothing to say or he can’t be bothered to say it.
Koepka doesn’t show much so it’s hard to get excited about him. I personally couldn’t care less where they’re from – I’m not a big fan of Paul Casey for example but love the likes of Furyk, Spieth or Dufner.
Keel: It’s looking very likely that Tommy Fleetwood will win a major sooner rather than later. But which one does he have the best chance in?
Dan: Well, that is back-to-back hugely impressive US Open showings. I felt that there was too much attention on him as the local boy at Birkdale last summer but, to his credit, he rebounded from a poor start to finish more than respectably.
So it feels like he can now be regarded as a genuine contender in both the Opens.
Mark: If you hit as many good shots, off the tee or from the fairway, as he does then you’ve got a pretty good chance anywhere.
The US Open is the obvious one after the last two years, in time the Open will probably be kind to him.
You might think that he would have played in more majors, this was just his 12th start, so things are just getting going for him.
He’s definitely made the big leap from great European Tour player to very genuine major contender now.
James: I think you have to say the Open. He’s the course record holder at Carnoustie and he will go into the championship as one of the world’s best and in-form players.
He’s playing the best golf of his life so the majors can’t come quickly enough for him at the moment. You never know when injury or loss of form can strike so this could be Tommy’s time.