Phil Mickelson equals worst round of Masters career

Phil Mickelson hits out of the woods off of the first fairway during the second round of the Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga., Friday, April 6, 2018. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP) Curtis Compton/Associated Press

Phil Mickelson equals worst round of Masters career

PGA Tour

Phil Mickelson equals worst round of Masters career

AUGUSTA, Ga. – After 18 holes of the 82nd Masters Tournament, Phil Mickelson was in good position to make a run at Jack Nicklaus’ record for oldest champion at Augusta National, as the 47-year-old sat T-11 at 2 under and four shots off the lead.

A day later, Mickelson instead tied another record, this one of his own.

Mickelson shot 7-over 79 to plummet down the leaderboard on a windy, difficult scoring day in Augusta and tied the worst Masters score of his career. Mickelson also carded a second-round 79 in 2016 to miss the cut.

“It was a rough day,” said Mickelson, who entered the week as one of the favorites after notching a win and three other top-6 finishes on Tour this year. “I thought the course played great. I thought the conditions were challenging, but I thought everything about it was a good fair test. You play well you can shoot under par and I don’t know what’s happened the last couple of days, it’s a little disappointing, because I’ve been playing so well this year, to play like this.

“… It is my favorite tournament of the year and it’s been a rough couple of days.”

Mickelson birdied the par-5 second hole to move to 3 under, and despite a bogey on the par-3 fourth hole, he was still even par on the day by the time he stepped on the ninth tee box.

But Mickelson struggled with his driving on Friday, hitting just five fairways, including two on the front. His worst drive of the day came at the par-4 ninth hole. Mickelson pulled a driver way left and into the trees. He had a small gap to punch a 2-iron out just shy of the green, but the ball caught a tree and kicked into a bush.

“I found it, but it was in the bushes and then the drop would have been worse,” Mickelson said, “so I played it from where I was at.”

Mickelson converted his fourth shot, but then didn’t carry his pitch over the slope on the green and saw his ball roll back down to the collar. After two putts, Mickelson walked away with a triple-bogey-7, which dropped him to 1 over.

He was able to birdie the par-4 10th, but played Amen Corner in 3 over, including making a double at the par-3 12th after his tee ball found Rae’s Creek.

“Poor execution,” Mickelson said. “I’m trying to hit a little cut in there and if anything if I cut it and miss it left of the hole it’s going to be a little bit short and be fine. And I just pulled it. I just flat out pulled it.”

Mickelson gave up two more shots on the back, at Nos. 16 and 18, to post his first score worse than 74 in his last 11 Masters rounds. At 5 over, he will likely make the cut, but his hopes of winning a fourth green jacket and breaking Nicklaus’ record are all but crushed.

“There’s a fine line between wanting it so bad and then also letting it kind of happen,” Mickelson said. “As you get older you feel a little bit more pressure each one because you don’t feel as though you have unlimited number of events. So given how well I was playing heading into this, I certainly put a lot of pressure on myself to perform this week and get it, because I know the opportunities here are lessening here and especially given as well as I’ve been playing, I thought this was a great year, a great opportunity.”

 

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