17 Jun 2010

Mickleson chases elusive U.S. Open golf title

6:47 pm on 17 June 2010

Phil Mickelson's bid for an elusive first U.S. Open title and Tiger Woods's desperate search for greater consistency have dominated the build-up to the second golf major of the year, U.S Golf Open, which tees off ovenight at Pebble Beach in California.

Although he's won 14 major titles to trail only Jack Nicklaus with 18 in the all time standings, Woods golfing stock has plummeted since his fall from grace end of last year.

He's played in only four events on the U.S. circuit this year and has battled a neck injury and aslo parted ways with his long-time coach Hank Haney.

Mickleson meanwhile goes in the tournament as favourite and success would also move him past Woods to the top of the world rankings.

Other leading contenders for the title include double U.S. Open winners Els and Retief Goosen of South Africa, Americans Steve Stricker and Jim Furyk, Britain's in-form Westwood and Irishman Padraig Harrington.