This week's heroes? Donald Ross, Inbee Park and Phil fever. Zeros? Phil's play and boring U.S. Open pairings
1. Donald Ross. His masterwork has been brought to life and his old B & B, the Holly Inn, is the week’s most happening gathering spot. Not bad for a dude who’s been dead forever.
2. Inbee. Well, whaddya know, on the eve of the most anticipated Women’s Open ever, Ms. Park is back to her winning ways, thanks to a little Sunday 61. The intrigue never stops on the LPGA.
3. Ben Crane. What a gutty performance from a guy who’s been off the radar for years. I’m just glad he wasn’t wearing a unitard and helmet.
4. Jason Gore. The onetime Prince of Pinehurst won’t be at the Open this time around, but a T4 on the Nationwide is the latest evidence that Gore may yet claw his way back to the big stage. Hopefully this time around, he’ll unbutton his top button.
5. Phil. He’s always a headliner, but this is getting outta hand -- Mickelson has completely hijacked the first part of Open week. If he can somehow pull this one off, it will the most outrageous performance of an already legendary career.
1. Phil. Sadly, there’s virtually nothing in his play this year to even hint that he’s up to the challenge. Then again, Mickelson is most dangerous when you count him out, so who knows…
2. Michael Campbell. All the recaps of the previous two Pinehurst Opens have only served to underscore how far this mercurial talent has fallen. Too bad, because the game was much richer with him around.
3. Isaac Sanchez. I loved this guy on “The Big Break,” but in his PGA Tour debut at Memphis, he went 86-81. It’s a long, long way from reality TV to the harsh reality of the game at the highest level.
4. U.S. Open pairings. They used to be full of wit and whimsy. Now, the groupings are so boring they may as well be spit out of a computer.
5.Troy Merritt. Second place is a nice showing for this grinder, but the dude who beat him didn’t make a birdie over his final 29 holes. I mean, c’mon.