Phil Mickelson left the British Open perplexed about the state of his game. More surprising is that he left on Friday.
The four-time major champion hit into bunkers and into the high grass. He hit a spectator and nearly drilled a photographer, who was crouched in the line of his shot about 20 yards away. He wound up with a 78, and missed the cut in a major for the first in five years, dating to Carnoustie in 2007.
His 18 straight cuts in the majors had been the longest current streak.
“I don’t know what to say,” Mickelson said, a phrase he repeated a half-dozen times in an interview that ended when there was really nothing left to ask.
Tom Watson captured the zaniness of his last two holes perfectly: “the ridiculous to the sublime.”
A careless miss from 2 feet at No. 17 produced a bogey left him at 4-over par, certain he was going to miss the cut. Then, at No. 18, Watson misread the break on a 35-footer for birdie, started it on the wrong line and watched as “it just did a duck hook at the end there and went right into the hole.”
The 2-over 72 landed Watson just inside the cut line at 143, enabling the 62-year-old five-time Open champion to extend his own record as the oldest man to play on the weekend since the British Open went to a 36-hole cut.
“I didn’t see that much break at the end,” Watson admitted sheepishly about his putt at the final hole. “I knew it was going to break left at the end, but I didn’t know there was that much break. Good thing I did misread it.”
TRUE SOUTH CLASSIC
Billy Horschel shot a 9-under 63 in the second round to take a one-stroke lead at the True South Classic in Madison, Miss.
Horschel played a bogey-free round and made eagle on both No. 5 and No. 18 for a 13-under 131 total.
Matt Bettencourt was one stroke back after a 65. First-round leader Jason Bohn was also at 12 under through nine holes and must finish his round this morning.