Mickelson still 'just a little off' in another 71


PITTSFORD, N.Y. – Phil Mickelson said his closing 66 at Muirfield was one of the best rounds of his life.

He might need a pair of those this weekend to have a chance at his sixth major title.

Mickelson continued to be stuck in neutral Friday at Oak Hill, carding his second consecutive 1-over 71 to sit nine shots off the clubhouse lead at the 95th PGA Championship

“I fought hard to stay in it; it’s just a little bit off,” he said. “I feel like it can turn around in a second. I don’t feel like it’s that far off.”

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After an adventurous opening round that was marred by a double bogey on his final hole, Mickelson headed directly to the range for an emergency session with coach Butch Harmon. Afterward, Lefty reported that he was more encouraged than he was a half-hour earlier, but he was still out of sorts when he showed up for his 8:35 a.m. tee time Friday.

The soggy conditions didn’t help matters, and neither did the fact that his fellow playing competitors, Adam Scott (68) and Justin Rose (66), were tearing up Oak Hill.

This week, Mickelson has hit just 20 greens (of 36 chances) and says he’s “over-reading” almost every putt.

To give himself a chance on Sunday, he said, he'll have to shoot something around 63 or 64 in Round 3.

“I think there is room and opportunity for guys to come from behind and get right in the mix,” he said.