Race for the career slam

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THERE are three players who have a chance to win the final leg of the career grand

slam, and with Phil Mickelson’s victory last week in the WGC Mexico Championship,

the chat heated up this week at Palm Harbor. Two of the other players with that chance,

Phil Mickelson AFP PHOTO

Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth, are playing this week. McIlroy needs to win a Masters to complete the slam, Spieth needs a PGA Championship and Mickelson is chasing an elusive U.S. Open title — he has six finishes of second or tied for second. McIlroy is first up at Augusta. “I have the first opportunity but it’s not like I want to do it ahead of those guys,” McIlroy said on Wednesday. “I just want to win the tournament.”


Spieth said Mickelson’s season, with four consecutive top-10 finishes, adds some spice to the battle. “At this point, with the way Phil is playing and the firepower that myself and Rory have, it’s a crap shooting on who can get it,” he said. McIlroy observed that the story lines in Florida the next weeks, then later this month at the WGC Dell Match Play and the Masters are ginning up interest in the Tour. “Golf is healthy with three looking for the [career]slam, Tiger, Justin Thomas, D.J. [world No. 1 Dustin Johnson], Jon Rahm,” McIlroy said. “The pool of talent is so good. I’m glad to be somewhat in the conversation.”

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