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Phil, Rose among notables to MC The Players

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PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – While many of the game’s best remain in position to contend for the title this week in the PGA Tour’s flagship event, a number of top-ranked players surprisingly have the weekend off.

The list of notable names missing the cut Friday at TPC Sawgrass is headlined by a pair of players inside the OWGR top 10 – Phil Mickelson and Justin Rose. Mickelson, a winner here in 2007, had made the cut in 11 consecutive appearances at the Stadium Course but was undone this week by wayward ball-striking, having reached just six fairways and seven greens in regulation during Friday’s 1-over 73. With two bogeys across his final three holes, Mickelson moved from inside to outside the cut line, and at 1-over 143 is projected to miss the number by a single shot.

Rose, meanwhile, entered the week ranked fourth in the world and had not finished outside the top 25 in any of his six prior starts on the PGA Tour this season. While many players took advantage of benign conditions Friday morning, the Englishman struggled to a 2-over 74, unable to master the shortest holes at the Stadium Course. Rose played the four par-3s in 4 over Friday, including a double bogey on the 13th hole after his tee shot found the water and a three-putt bogey on the famed 17th.

With the 36-hole cut projected at even-par 144, other notable players that will have more free time than anticipated this weekend are Ian Poulter (2 over), a runner-up here in 2009; Nick Watney (2 over), who contended last week in Charlotte but was unable to overcome an opening 76 this week; and former FedEx Cup champion Bill Haas (4 over).