How many more can Mickelson win?

And is a suspension looming for Vijay Singh?

Updated: February 4, 2013, 11:58 AM ET
ESPN.com

With his victory Sunday at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, Phil Mickelson keeps his streak alive of wins in consecutive years dating back to 2004. Only twice since 1993 has Lefty not won on the PGA Tour in a given season (1999, 2003).

So what's in store for Mickelson this week as he heads to Pebble Beach to defend his title? Our experts tackle those topics and more.


1. How many more wins, and majors, does Mickelson have in him for his career?

Michael Collins, ESPN.com senior golf analyst: Well, since Mickelson is in great shape physically and he's not spraying any animal products (as far as we know) in his mouth, I'd say Phil has at least eight more wins in him in his career. I will say I don't know if he has a major in those wins, but winning on tour isn't easy no matter what the event.

Farrell Evans, ESPN.com senior golf writer: Lefty can win three more majors and 10 regular events to catch Byron Nelson and Billy Casper on the all-time wins list. But Arnie's 62 victories probably is out of reach.

Bob Harig, ESPN.com senior golf writer: A goal of 50 PGA Tour titles is still reasonable for Mickelson, who when motivated is still as good as it gets in golf. He hits it a long way and has plenty of game. But he can't be going at this one-a-year clip we've seen of late. As for majors, he proved at the Masters last year that he can still do it, as he was right there on Sunday. So one or two more majors is certainly possible. Next year at Pinehurst for the U.S. Open should be interesting.

Kevin Maguire, ESPN.com senior golf editor: For Lefty, a dozen wins isn't out of the question. Neither is only two more triumphs. The real answer is probably somewhere in the middle. You just never know with Mickelson, which is what makes him so compelling to watch. As for majors, his love affair with Augusta National means he'll be legitimately challenging for a green jacket every April for the next five to six years. I'll give him at least one more Masters title and five majors for his career.


2. Does defending his title this week at Pebble Beach help or hurt Mickelson?

Michael Collins: Definitely helps him. The format as a pro-am takes all the pressure off him. You only have to "grind" for one day. Other than that, Mickelson will be selling Callaway drivers to whichever amateurs are lucky enough to get paired in his group.

Farrell Evans: Mickelson is an old pro. The Phoenix win will help relax him at Pebble Beach.

Bob Harig: It doesn't hurt. Mickelson loves the spotlight, and he is all about momentum. Last year he went right from Pebble Beach and lost in a playoff at Riviera. Why not carry it over this year?

Kevin Maguire: It hurts. That means he'd go from being nowhere near contention at Torrey Pines to a win in Phoenix to defending his title at Pebble? Unlikely. That's a roller coaster that even Mickelson wouldn't expect to get on coming into this week. A middle-of-the-pack finish is what I'd expect.


3. Should the PGA Tour have more or less holes like the party atmosphere that surrounds No. 16 at TPC Scottsdale?

Michael Collins: The PGA Tour needs two more holes like this. The 17th at TPC Sawgrass is getting that way, but the venue (they want it to be the fifth major) won't allow it to get out of hand. The John Deere and Greensboro would be the perfect venues for a fun hole like the 16th.

Farrell Evans: Less. The circus atmosphere should be kept to a few weeks a year. The emphasis should always be on the golf.

Bob Harig: There are others that try to create a rowdy atmosphere, but nothing like the 16th at Phoenix. Let it stay as it is. Too much of a good thing becomes a bad thing.

Kevin Maguire: One or two wouldn't hurt, but let's not overdo it. You have to have that perfect blend of college atmosphere along with a great tournament venue that would support it. Not every course could pull off such an endeavor.


4. True or false: The PGA Tour will suspend Vijay Singh for admitting to using a banned substance.

Michael Collins: We'll never know. The only reason we found out about Doug Barron and John Daly was because it was in court records. Funny that Singh hurt his back and couldn't go to the course Wednesday in Scottsdale. My question is: If the tour suspends him, where will he practice? I would think he would not be permitted on TPC grounds -- Sawgrass is his home course -- as a suspended member of the tour.

Farrell Evans: True. The rules are the rules. If you start making exceptions for careless behavior you open more room for lawyers to find loopholes.

Bob Harig: True. If the PGA Tour doesn't act, it has a huge credibility issue to face when it comes to its banned substance list and drug testing program. Admitting to taking a banned substance is the same as failing a drug test under the policy guidelines. And regardless of reason, a failed test or admittance to taking a banned substance means a suspension. It's pretty simple.

Kevin Maguire: True. They have to, plain and simple. If the tour wants to be taken seriously by the IOC (and golf's return to the Olympics is right around the corner in 2016), they have to start actually abiding by the WADA code for PEDs. Unfortunately for Singh, ignorance to what's in a product is not a defense that holds any water, at least with the Olympic movement. We shall (hopefully) see if it does with the PGA Tour & if they ever reveal their decision.

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