- Senior golf writer for ESPN.com
- Covered golf for more than 20 years
- Earned Evans Scholarship to attend Indiana University
SANDWICH, England – The results have not been great since Phil Mickelson won the PGA Championship but he was cautiously optimistic and making another run at The Open.
Instead, Mickelson walked off Royal St. George’s on Friday afternoon and was getting ready to head home to California.
A 10-over-par 80 on Thursday – just his second score of 80 or higher in 94 rounds at The Open – making it all but impossible to make the 36-hole cut. He added a 72 on Friday to finish at 152, 12-over par.
“I thought I was really ready,” he said.
Mickelson talked earlier in the week about believing Royal St. George’s suited him, that he was hitting the ball nicely and feeling good about performing well.
But he made no birdies in the opening round and was at a loss to explain what happened.
For the two rounds, he hit just 19 of 36 greens in regulation and took 65 putts, including 35 in the first round. It was the seventh time in 27 Opens that Mickelson missed the cut.
“I’ve worked hard,” he said. “I’ve prepared. I felt like I was playing well and I played some of my worst golf. And I don’ have great answers. So I have to kind of figure out how to get back to the level of play I know I can like I did at Kiawah (at the PGA Championship) and try and contend.
“Because that’s what I love. That’s what gets me excited and makes all the work worthwhile. I just have to figure out what the deal is. I put in a lot of work and effort to be ready. Thought I was ready. And I obviously played terrible.”
Mickelson said that has been no letdown since winning the PGA, where he became the oldest major champion.
“It was awesome,” he said. “It was an emotional energy boost if anything.”
Mickelson said he will take a few weeks to regroup. He did not commit to playing the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational in Memphis although he said that is likely where he will play next in three weeks.
“I have some folks issues I need to work on,” he said.
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