SAN FRANCISCO – Phil Mickelson looked like Phil Mickelson Friday at the U.S. Open. In other words, Lefty didn’t resemble the poor schlub that walked around The Olympic Club Thursday and took 76 swats at the golf ball and appeared to have the game of a sectional qualifier.
Mickelson looked different in every way during a second-round, 1-over-par 71 and he’ll have a chance to prove himself over the weekend now because he fought to make the cut, which was in doubt early in the round.
“I had a really good thing happen yesterday,” Mickelson said. “I hit balls after the round, and I had this really good breakthrough. I felt much better with the ball striking and was able to work it.”
Woods still had the low ball of the group with an even-par 70, but Mickelson had life and showed fight. He made bogey on the first hole and made another on the difficult sixth hole, and it looked like he’d be spending the weekend at home. But he rebounded with birdie on No. 7 and ultimately closed with another on the 18th hole to end the first two days at 7-over 147, which is eight shots behind leaders Woods, Jim Furyk and David Toms.
“Tiger’s hitting the ball very well, Jim Furyk's extremely solid, and I don't think they're going to come back too much,” Mickelson said. “So I'm going to have to shoot quite a bit under par to make a run on this course and it's really tough to do, because you got to make 40-, 50-footers, there's just not a lot of holes to make birdies on.”