AUGUSTA, Ga. – The timing was impossible to ignore. One left-handed former Masters champion heading to Butler Cabin for interviews, another his couch.
Bubba Watson scorched the back nine on Friday with five consecutive birdies to take a commanding lead at Augusta National, while the other southpaw, Phil Mickelson, was physically and metaphorically headed in the other direction after a second-round 73 left him outside the cut line for just the second time in his career and the first time since 1997.
“It sucks looking at the cut line. I like looking at the leaderboard,” said Lefty, who opened with a 76 and finished at 5 over par.
Mickelson endured another catastrophic miscue on Friday, this time at the 12th hole when he went from bunker to bunker to bunker and made a triple-bogey 6. On Thursday it was a triple at No. 7 that inflicted the most damage.
“That’s what I have been nervous about, a hole like seven yesterday and 12 today,” Mickelson said.
It will mark the first time since 1994 that neither Mickelson nor Tiger Woods is around for the weekend at Augusta National, but Lefty still figured he’d watch the proceedings from home.
“I probably will. It will be my punishment,” he said.