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Friday, June 8, 2007

Fingers crossed

That's exactly what the people at Travelers are doing as Phil Mickelson heads to Oakmont Country Club this week for the U.S. Open. Still fresh in people's minds is the double-bogey Mickelson had in last year's Open at Winged Foot, costing him a chance at a third straight major championship.
But the inaugural Travelers is praying its marquee name remains in the field. Mickelson injured his wrist, ironically enough, practicing at Oakmont before competing in the Memorial Tournament. That effort lasted 11 holes because he re-aggravated the wrist. Then, Mickelson withdrew from this week's St. Jude's as a precaution.
Don't expect Mickelson to withdraw this week. But he will spend plenty of time in the ankle-high rough, trying to hack out toward the green rather than going the safety route. People who bought tickets to the Travelers will be cringing, too, because they want to come see Mickelson play at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell beginning June 21.
Travelers has the tournament's best field in five years with Vijay Singh, Padraig Harrington, Trevor Immelman, Chris DiMarco, Darren Clarke and plenty of others, including defending champion J.J. Henry. They may get one more big name before next Friday's deadline.
They just hope their biggest draw shows. Otherwise, those attendance numbers will be a little lower than expected.

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