According to Mickelson, though, his two-round total of 1-over 141 means he’s assured of an early exit.
“Oh, no. It will be – even (par) has a chance, but it could go to 1 under,” said Mickelson, who was one shot off the projected cut line upon concluding his second round. “No, I won’t make the cut.”
The 43-year-old appeared keenly aware of his position on the leaderboard while playing the ninth hole Friday afternoon, his 18th of the day. After his approach left him short of the green, Mickelson had caddie Jim “Bones” Mackay pull the pin for his 12-yard chip. The shot skirted past the left edge of the hole.
“I gave it a try. I knew I had to make it,” Mickelson said. “I had a good chance on No. 8 from about 8-10 feet and missed it. I had a hard time making birdies today. I don’t know what it was.”
After a middling 70 in the opening round, Mickelson again failed to get much going on Friday, and the southpaw made just four total birdies through 36 holes – a stretch of golf during which tournament leader Rory McIlroy notched 13.
According to Mickelson, the source of his issues were largely on the greens at the Champion Course, a similar explanation to the one he offered following his most recent start at Pebble Beach.
“When I hit a reasonable shot, I missed the putt,” he said. “I drove the ball well. I mean, I hit 75 percent of my fairways – that’s a good thing for me. I’m starting to drive the ball well.
“What I normally do on my iron play, my distance control, was off. It just wasn’t sharp, and I didn’t putt as well as I had expected.”