Everyone knows that Torrey Pines and Tiger Woods go together like peas and carrots, as a wise man once proclaimed.
But Phil Mickelson, another Southern California guy, has enjoyed his share of Kodak moments there, too.
Just not since Tiger started dominating the place.
Lefty won the Buick Invitation in 1993, 2000 and '01. He finished third in 1994, second in '96, and tied for fourth in both 2003 and '04. In January, he tied for sixth.
Of course he has never won this major, even though he's had four seconds, all in the last 9 years. He did miss the cut last June, for only the second time. And first since 1992, when he was still an amateur. But he probably shouldn't have even been playing, due to a sore wrist.
Perhaps more pertinent, Phil hasn't had a good major since he took a double bogey on the 72nd hole of the Open 2 years ago at Winged Foot to lose by one, when he was going for his third straight win in a major.
Since then, he has tied for 22nd at the British Open, where he's only mounted one serious challenge (a third in 2004), tied for 16th at the PGA, tied for 24th at the Masters, missed back-to-back cuts, tied for 32nd at the PGA and tied for fifth in April at Augusta, where he has won twice. Yet even that was disappointing, since he had put himself in position to win on Friday and then shot 75 in the third round.
Last year, by the way, was the first time since 1997 that he didn't have at least one top 10 in a grand-slam event. Again, at least some of that was because he was hurting.