PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Phil Mickelson awakened Saturday morning knowing his first shot in the resumption of the suspended second round was the tee shot at the 17th island hole at The Players Championship.
“I needed to make a birdie,” Mickelson said.
Mickelson stuck the shot to 10 feet, but he missed his birdie chance and ended up missing the cut by a single shot.
It was Mickelson’s fourth consecutive missed cut at The Players and his third missed cut in his last four starts this season.
After a strong start to the year, Mickelson is all about building momentum for the U.S. Open in five weeks. If he wins at Oakmont, he’ll become just the sixth player to win the career grand slam in professional golf.
“I think that it's a great golf course to identify how well you're playing, and it tells me that I've got some work to do still,” Mickelson said. “I've been driving the ball much better this year, but I drove it terrible this week and it will eat you up. So I think it's a really good place to play, to find out where your strengths and your weaknesses are.”
Mickelson won The Players in ’07. After he missed the cut last year, he said he couldn’t believe he won at TPC Sawgrass.
“I like the golf course,” Mickelson said Saturday morning. “I think that it rewards great play, and I think it punishes poor play. I think that’s a sign of a great golf course. I just didn't play my best.”
Mickelson began the year with three finishes of fifth or better without winning. After missing cuts at the Masters and the Valero Texas Open, he tied for fourth last week at Wells Fargo.
Is he feeling the same confidence he had earlier in the year?
“Not after missing a couple of cuts, but I feel like last week, I had a good week,” Mickelson said. “I feel like my game's not far off. But I'm not overly concerned because I missed the cut this week. I just want to get out and play and compete. I feel like that's the best way to kind of work myself in it.”
Mickelson typically plays the Memorial and the FedEx St. Jude Classic leading into the U.S. Open.