PORTRUSH, Northern Ireland – Phil Mickelson is at a loss.
A dazed and confused Mickelson left the scoring area after another perplexing day at Royal Portrush, another missed cut on his resume and with few answers as to what has plagued his game for months now.
After opening the 148th playing of the British Open with a 5-over-par 76, Mickelson posted a 74 in Friday’s second round to miss his third cut in a row, his fourth in his last five starts and his seventh overall since winning the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in February, his 44th PGA Tour victory.
“I’m playing so bad that I don’t know really what to say,” said Mickelson, a five-time major champion and a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame. “I thought after winning Pebble I was going to have a phenomenal year and the last four months have been surprisingly difficult.”
What Mickelson, the 2013 Open champion, won’t say is that his recent weight loss is the cause of his poor form. Mickelson lost 15-18 pounds after a six-day fast, the addition of yoga and regular hikes and a switch to a plant-based diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. He said he didn’t fast to lose weight, he fasted to heal.
But his game remained unhealthy.
“I’ve played so poorly for a few months now, that I doubt that is it,” Mickelson said when asked if his new body was causing his errant play. “You go through highs and lows throughout a career, and certainly I’m at a low. I’m not overly concerned that I’ll get out of it. I’m pretty resilient.”
Right now, however, he doesn’t know how he’ll get out of it. And he doesn’t know if he’ll start getting out of it in next week’s World Golf Championships-FedEx St. Jude Classic.
“I’m committed right now (to play),” he said. “I wouldn’t go past that. I don’t know. I don’t know if I need some time away or if I should play my way through it. I’ll fly home and take a few days and see how I feel.
“I love Memphis, I love the course, I love everything about the event. I’m just not playing well right now, so I don’t know if I should take a few weeks off.”