Tomorrow is the coming out party for The PGA Tour as their number one 2010 attraction makes his first appearance. Phil Mickelson tees it up in his own backyard at Torrey Pines and starts this season with a good portion of the weight of The PGA Tour on his shoulders. With Tiger sitting the season out so far and sponsors looking for a bit more bang for their buck, the heavy lifting has been left to Phil. Good thing Phil has been working out even more than usual to get in top condition this year. He hopes to pick up where he left off with back to back wins last year.
Don’t tell me that Tim Finchem and the PGA brass aren’t hoping their marquee player comes out with guns blazing. With three wins in his pocket at Torrey Pines and a revamped support team of Butch Harmon, Dave Stockton and Dave Pelz, and his family in good health, Phil is ready to make his assault on the number one spot in the World Rankings. It will be all Phil all the time on The Golf Channel and CBS this week, but you know something, I’m not going to mind.
The “Farmers Insurance Open,” as they call it this year will have plenty of other interesting golfers to watch. John Daly is back in the field looking as slim as ever but still trying to find his swing.
Rocco Mediate is back at the scene of his most memorable tournament. It’s Rocco’s first trip back at Torrey Pines since his sudden death playoff with Tiger at the 2008 US Open.
Paul Goydos, who isn’t afraid to call Tim Finchem on the carpet, is playing and I’m hoping he’ll keep up his analysis of the Tour’s policies.
Jesper Parnevik is playing but he’ll spend as much time deflecting Tiger questions as he will playing this week.
David Duval continues his quest to climb back into the top of the World Rankings.
Ernie Els is looking for a big year from himself and is convinced he has it and another major in him.
Fran Quinn makes a return to the big tour after having played on the tour in 1992. The forty four year old earned his way back through the Nationwide Tour. If Quinn can perform well on the tour he could be the feel good story of the year.
One of the more interesting players on tour is Ryan Moore and his unconventional approach to the game suits him well: he has two top tens in two starts this season.
PGA Tour rookie, Matt Every makes his debut this week and you may remember him from The Golf Channel’s Big Break. He has more game than you think: he was a three time All-American at Florida and won the Ben Hogan Award as the premier collegiate player of the year in 2006. The last Ben Hogan Award winner to win on tour? Bill Haas, last week’s Bob Hope Classic champion