U.S. Open Golf Practice Round June 13, 2011

The 2017 PGA season is heating up, and once again Phil Mickelson is making headlines. This week the announcement was made that he was splitting with his long time caddie Jim McKay (best known simply as Bones) after 25 years. When a golfer breaks up with his caddie, it is normally not big news. But this is a different case.

Outside of Tiger Woods (who rarely plays because of his constant issues and problems on and off the golf course), Phil Mickelson is the active leader in major titles with five, and when he splits with his caddie who has been by his side for a quarter of a century, the news is rather significant.

I first saw real tension between Mickelson and Bones at the famous 17th hole at the Players Championship this past May. In the second round, Mickelson and Bones got into a heated exchange over what club Mickelson should use. Bones recommended a pitching wedge and Mickelson wanted to play with a nine iron. Mickelson listened to Bones, used the pitching wedge, and the ball ended up in the water.

Now it may be unfair to come to the conclusion that was the reason for the breakup. However it didn’t help matters. It should also be pointed out that Mickelson is having a solid season. Even though he has not been victorious, he has made the cut 13 times and finished tied for fifth in reaching the quarterfinals at the 2017 World Matchplay Championships in Mexico this past March.

Mickelson won’t be playing at the Quicken Loans National this weekend in Washington, but I would be a little reluctant in activating him in his next PGA Tour event.

This weekend strongly consider Brandon Steele. At the U.S. Open, Brad Faxon gave me the highest compliment. He said “stats geeks” love Steele. Well, if you have been reading my fantasy golf report all season long, I have been complimenting Steele too. In 13 events this year, he has not missed a cut and has three top tens. This week in Washington, he is once again a safe pick.