Phil Mickelson will miss the cut at the PGA Championship, his first missed cut in this event in 22 years. Mickelson shot 79-74 over the first two days at Quail Hollow to finish well back of the projected cut line. Honored earlier in the week for competing in his 100th major, this one will turn out to be one of his least memorable.
“I don’t feel like I did two years ago where I’m searching for my game or I’m trying to find it or trying to strike it well,” Mickelson said after the round. “I have great practice sessions. Drove it fine. Just not real focused when I’m out there.”
Mickelson missed the cut in last month’s British Open, but prior to that had made the cut in all of the cut-line tournaments he’d entered this season. He dismissed the idea that this was a particularly difficult stretch: “It’s been two majors. I’ve played fine this year. I made every cut up to the British. Just been these last two majors.”
Of course, it’s worth noting that there is indeed a significant change between all those made cuts and these last two missed ones. Mickelson parted ways with Jim “Bones” Mackay, his caddie of a quarter-century, shortly before the British Open. Mickelson’s brother Tim has been on the bag since then. Is Mickelson missing Bones? Well, here’s what he had to say about his own mindset out there inside the ropes:
“It’s not like I’m hitting the ball crooked, I’m just hitting it in the wrong spots,” he said. “Not really controlling my thought process, where I want the ball to go. I’m not real focused out there. I’m having a tough time visualizing the shot. I’m having a tough time controlling my thoughts and not letting it wander to what I don’t want to have happen. On the range, I’m having some of the best sessions, swinging the club fine, striking it pretty good, and yet I’m not controlling my thought process out there.”
Purely speculation here, but it seems like Phil could use someone “out there” on the course helping him with that. Regardless, he’s let another major season slip past without a victory.
Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports and the author of EARNHARDT NATION, on sale now at Amazon or wherever books are sold. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.