Every Sunday night, the editorial staff of the SI Golf Group conducts an e-mail roundtable. Check in every week for the unfiltered opinions of our writers and editors and join the conversation in the comments section below.
TWO FOR TORREY PINES
Mark Godich, senior editor, Sports Illustrated: Let's look ahead to next week. Tiger and Phil are teeing it up at Torrey Pines. Tiger is coming off the missed cut in Abu Dhabi. Phil was 17 under over his last three rounds at the Humana. Both have great track records at Torrey. Who beats whom? And would it surprise you if one of them won?
Jim Herre, managing editor, SI Golf Group: Based on what we saw at Abu Dhabi and Palm Springs, I would be surprised if either wins this week. Slight edge to Mickelson based solely on his stated desire to get off to a fast start this year.
Gary Van Sickle, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: I'm never surprised when Phil or Tiger contends, but I'd agree with Jim. These guys are just shifting into second gear. There's a whole field of guys at Torrey who are already in fourth gear, if not overdrive.
Alan Shipnuck, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: Phil plays best at a handful of places that inspire him. He's spent a lot of time around Torrey working on his proposed redesign. He'll contend for sure. I'm less confident about Tiger.
David Dusek, deputy editor, Golf.com: It's almost too much to hope for, but I think both guys could contend, and either might win. The history with Tiger is obvious, and the venue means a lot to Mickelson, too. If I had to pick, I'd go with Mickelson to beat Tiger and get the W.
Charlie Hanger, executive editor, Golf.com: Seeing as I'm always wrong in my predictions, I'm going for broke. Tiger will beat Phil in a seven-hole playoff.
Walker: Mickelson. He had a good weekend at the Hope, and he's playing better than Tiger right now.
Dusek: Interesting to see that Mickelson had a new Odyssey Versa putter in his bag last week in Palm Springs. Phil said he didn't think much of it until he started holing everything in his backyard while putting with it at night.
Mike Walker, senior editor, Golf Magazine: That zebra stick is pretty eye-catching.
Stephanie Wei, contributor, SI Golf+: My bet is on Phil to play better than Tiger. He doesn't have to deal with jetlag, and he played pretty well this weekend after recovering from the flu and knocking off the rust. He'll also be at home.
Cameron Morfit, senior writer, Golf Magazine: I'd guess someone other than those two will win. Phil has merely come close since the South was toughened up by Rees Jones. Tiger is more likely to win, but he should have done better in Abu Dhabi, so he's clearly rusty.
Tell us what you think in the comments section below: Who has the better finish at Torrey: Tiger or Phil?
LEFTY TALKS TAXES
Wei: Speaking of Phil, he made some interesting comments after his round and said he'd go into more detail at his pre-tourney presser at Torrey Pines. Asked about Stricker's semi-retirement, Phil launched into a semi-rant on taxes, saying it'll cost more for him to play and that he was considering "drastic changes." Asked if that meant moving out of California, he said: "I'm not sure what, exactly, I'm going to do yet. …There are going to be some drastic changes for me because I happen to be in that zone that has been targeted both federally and by the state, and it doesn't work for me right now."
Herre: Oh, boy! Can't wait for Phil's Torrey presser.
Walker: I hear Phil's been pricing villas outside Moscow with Gérard Depardieu.
Wei: Yep, Phil's presser should be interesting. He said his tax rate was "62, 63 percent" when adding up "all the federal and you look at the disability and the unemployment and the Social Security and the state." He also implied that taxes had something to do with the Padres deal falling apart.
Godich: I don't think Phil's going to get a lot of sympathy.
Wei: Judging from the replies to my tweet, definitely not.
Van Sickle: Anybody else sense "Phil for Governor" coming up?
Tell us what you think in the comments section below: What's your take on Lefty's rant on taxes?