Lefty misses Colonial cut, chance to be No. 1
Friday, May 28, 2010
FORT WORTH, Texas – There will be no Phil in pink at the Colonial – and no top ranking.
Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his return to Colonial after a 3-over 73 Friday put him at 4 over 144. That was only one stroke better than the worst score recorded among the 119 players who completed the first two rounds under ideal scoring conditions.
“I played terrible. I don’t know what to say,” Mickelson said. “The course was in great shape, there was no wind and there were a lot of birdies out there, and I just played terrible.”
A victory at the Colonial would have pushed Mickelson ahead of Tiger Woods for No. 1 in the world ranking for the first time in his career.
Missing the cut will also keep Mickelson from playing during the tournament’s second “Pink Out” on Saturday.
Most players joined PGA Tour and tournament officials in wearing pink for the first “Pink Out” a year ago, when Mickelson wasn’t at Hogan’s Alley to defend his 2008 Colonial title right after finding out that his wife, Amy, had breast cancer.
“I wish I was going to be here to partake in that. I’ll be wearing pink tomorrow, but in San Diego,” Mickelson said. “Monday is Amy’s birthday and so it will give me a chance to spend a weekend with her to celebrate.”
The only tournament Amy Mickelson attended since being diagnosed last year was the Masters last month, when she was behind the 18th green with their three children on the final day to share in Lefty’s victory.
When asked how his wife was, Mickelson responded, “She’s doing well, thank you.”
It is Mickelson’s first missed cut in 11 tournaments this season. The last time he didn’t play a weekend round in a PGA Tour money event was at Houston in April 2009, a span of 21 tournaments.
“Absolutely, we are disappointed. Phil is one of the best players in the world. We would love to have him for the weekend,” tournament chairman Chuck Scherer said. “Phil is a great friend of Colonial. We understand that he gave it his all. We are disappointed but, no, nothing will change. “
A few weeks after last year’s Colonial, Mickelson learned his mother also had breast cancer.
Tournament director Peter Ripa, who spoke to Mickelson in the locker room after his round Friday, said Lefty “was ready, head to toe” to participate in Saturday’s event.
Ripa said the intention of the second “Pink Out” is to “transition this to be about breast cancer awareness and Susan G. Komen For The Cure, and build the funds for support for the research for curing the disease.”
Two downtown Fort Worth buildings were being illuminated with pink lights Friday night, and tournament title sponsor Crowne Plaza will make donations for each birdie and eagle made during the third round, which based on last year could be about $35,000.
Mickelson’s return to Colonial got off to a spectacular start, with birdies on his first two holes Thursday. But he was 6 over with only three more birdies his final 34 holes, including two quick bogeys Friday and then three more in a row after his final birdie.
“I thought my game was sharper. I thought I had a good couple of practice sessions at home. This was a good barometer though because the start to my run into the U.S. Open, it tells me I’ve got a lot of work to do,” he said. “I didn’t drive it very well, didn’t hit very many good iron shots. I’ve struggled a little bit with the short game and the putter wasn’t great.”
In his only other tournaments since winning the Masters, Mickelson was the runner-up at Quail Hollow and tied for 17th at The Players Championship three weeks ago.
Mickelson started his second round with a par at No. 10, then had consecutive bogeys, hitting his second shot out of bounds at the par-5 11th hole and then at No. 12 knocking a par-saving 5-foot putt a couple feet past the cup.
After consecutive birdies at Nos. 1 and 2 during his first round, he had to shout “Fore!” after errant shots toward spectators on both of those holes Friday.
Mickelson’s 3-wood approach from thick rough at the par-5 first headed toward the gallery on the right of the green, though Mickelson managed to save par from there.
When his tee shot at the dogleg-right No. 2 stayed right toward spectators, Mickelson cupped his mouth with his hands and gave another warning. But he hit the shot from the rough to 12 feet of the pin and made birdie.
“Come on Phil, we need you baby,” a spectator shouted before Mickelson teed off at No. 3.
Instead, Mickelson bogeyed the next three holes.
“I was a little rustier than I thought,” he said. “I’ll get home and get some practice in and see if I can get this thing turned around.”