major week Paul McGinley's verdict on Phil Mickelson's US Open hopes as he back Shane Lowry to shine
Third major of 2021 about to get underway
Paul McGinley does not believe Phil Mickelson will back up his remarkable US PGA Championship win last month with a career-defining win at this week's US Open.
Mickelson will complete a career grand slam of major if he wins at Torrey Pines, but former Ryder Cup captain McGinley cannot see the 51-year-old challenging again on a course that will not suit his brand of golf.
"Phil doesn't have a great record around Torrey Pines and there is a reason for that," stated Sky Sport analyst McGinley.
"I know he has lived in San Diego most of his life, and he is familiar with the test, but he is 51 years of age and this course is not suited to his game.
"I'd say there's been a lot of energy drained from him the last two or three weeks with the excitement of everything that's gone on, but it will be very different this week.
"It wasn't crazy to see Phil winning around Kiawah Island. It wasn't crazy to see Padraig performing well around Kiawah Island because that was the exam. It was a test of guile and those two guys have that in abundance.
"Experience was a big thing, the short game was a big thing. This is a very different test to Kiawah Island, and I am really expecting to see one of the top players in the world come to the fore this week, particularly the bigger hitters at the top of the world rankings.
"It's horses for courses and Torrey Pines will play into the hands of the big hitters. I see one of the big names in the top ten coming through and winning with powerful hitting, power out of the rough and getting the job done on the final Sunday."
McGinley has offered up a more positive appraisal of Irishman Shane Lowry's hopes this week, he suggested the reigning Open champion could be ready to challenge for major glory once again after his decision to base himself in America.
"It's good to see Shane coming into form and see him make a whole lot of Ryder Cup points," said Sky Sports analyst McGinley.
"His decision to move his family to America is contributing to his improvement because I always say that what happens off the course with your family is massive to what happens on it.
"I think moving to America has been a weight off his shoulders. I think Covid has pushed him down that road, and he's thinking, yeah, I can live in America, and it's actually quite nice over here, and I've got a nice lifestyle, and Wendy is happy.
"I just think he's a guy was just getting better and better and more comfortable on the PGA Tour. I'm getting more comfortable in this game, and his game is starting to get tailored more about playing the test the US Open or the PGA Tour presents.
"He is also a guy that gets inspired, a little like Rory McIlroy. Having fans cheering him on can give him that extra edge he needs and we are seeing a more mature player now."
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