Saturday, June 15, 2013
Sunday's stat storylines: Mickelson & more
By ESPN Stats & Information
Here are the numbers behind the storylines heading into Sunday's final round of the U.S. Open.
Can Phil Mickelson finally win a U.S. Open?
Mickelson has five runner-up finishes at the U.S. Open, the most in tournament history.
This is his first 54-hole lead at a major since 2006 U.S. Open (finished tied for second) and the fifth time he's led a major entering the final round (won three of previous four times)
Mickelson is trying to join Rory McIlroy (2011) as the only wire-to-wire winners since 2003.
Can 46-year-old Steve Stricker finally win a major?
If Stricker wins, he’d be the oldest first-time major winner and the oldest champ in U.S. Open history (currently Hale Irwin, 45 in 1990)
Will there be another first-time champion?
Of the nine players within five strokes of the lead, eight have never won a major.
Among them is Hunter Mahan, whose current tied-for-second standing is his best-ever position at a major.
Tiger Woods: out of contention
Saturday marked the first time as a pro that Tiger Woods had at least seven bogeys and one birdie or fewer in a round at the U.S. Open.
The only other round at a major in which Woods had at least 7 bogeys (or worse) and 0 or one birdies (as a professional) was the 3rd round at Muirfield in the 2002 Open Championship. Much of that round was played in a torrential downpour.
Sunday is five years to the day (June 16, 2008) of the playoff at the 2008 U.S. Open won by Woods.
Woods has not won a major since that one. This would be his 16th straight major without a victory.
What will happen on the 18th hole?
The 18th hole is currently playing as second-hardest hole at U.S. Open over the last 25 years. There were no birdies on the 18th hole in the third round, when it played as the longest Par 4 in U.S. Open history.
The 18th hole hasn’t been the only score-wrecker. The 73 players that made the cut are a combined 691 strokes over par through three rounds.