Mickelson loses ground with second-round 75


CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Phil Mickelson’s putter went cold.

The flat stick wasn’t covering up mistakes for him Friday the way it did in the opening round, and it left Mickelson with a lot of ground to make up this weekend if he’s going to win the Wells Fargo Championship.

A 3-over-par 75 dropped Mickelson down the leaderboard. He went from T-2 Thursday to T-24 when he signed his card on Friday to T-30 at the end of Round 2.

Mickelson, seeking his first victory this season, has seven shots to make up on the leaders, Angel Cabrera and Martin Flores, going into the weekend.

“I can't believe the difference in putting from yesterday to today,” Mickelson said. “Yesterday, I saw every ball go in the hole, and today I couldn't get 'em to fall, and was three-putting, which is funny because the greens today were so perfect.”

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Mickelson’s game off the tee wasn’t sharp. He missed a lot of drives left, hitting just six of 14 fairways. Still, that was one more fairway than he hit on Thursday. The real difference? Mickelson needed 34 putts in the second round, just 26 putts in the first round. He missed a 3-footer for par at the second hole, a 4-footer for par at the sixth.

There are good vibes here for Mickelson, though. He has seven top-10 finishes in 10 starts at Quail Hollow, five of them T-5 or better, though he is seeking his first win here.

“I'll try to go out and make a run tomorrow,” Mickelson said. “I'm not that far back, and it wasn't that far off. It's not like I've got a lot of work to do, I just need to get a little more dialed in.”