Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Golf

Phil Mickelson misses first Masters cut since 1997

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Phil Mickel­son will be watching the final two rounds of the Masters from home for the first time in 17 years.

And it's no mystery why.

"It's tough to overcome those big numbers," Mickelson said Friday after 1-over 73 in the second round left him at 5-over 149, one over the cut line.

Mickelson made two triple bogeys at Augusta National two years ago and nearly won another green jacket. After making two on consecutive days this year, he missed the cut for only the second time.

Mickelson, who withdrew after two rounds of the Farmers Insurance Open in January because of a sore back, pulled out of the Texas Open on the last weekend of March with a pulled oblique muscle. He said injuries were not the problem this week.

What concerned the 43-year-old was not playing enough coming into the Masters. He said he was worried he might not be sharp, and he was right.

Mickelson last missed the cut in 1997. He said he likely will watch the rest if tournament on television. "It's an exciting tournament. I probably will," Mickelson said. "Kind of be my punishment."

mickelwoods trivia: The last time Mickelson and Tiger Woods (not playing because of injury) didn't play on the weekend at the Masters was 1994, when both missed the tournament. … This will be the first time since 1999 neither will finish in the top five.

Senden on a roll: John Senden, who had made the cut only once in four previous Masters appearances, played his way into today's final pairing with a career-low 68 during the second round. Senden, who ended a victory drought of nearly eight years in March at the Valspar Championship at Innisbrook in Palm Harbor, was alone in second at 4-under 140. "I'm excited to keep doing what I've been doing, playing good golf," he said. "And if I keep believing in myself and enjoying it, that's the difference when you're under the pressure, if you can keep a smile on your face."

His breakfast spoke to him: Few people were as happy to see Rory McIlroy par No. 18 to make the cut on the nose than a British man who bet approximately $1,675 on him to win after seeing what to him was McIlroy's face in a chocolate Danish. Rob Price, an Andover college lecturer, said he placed the wager of 1,000 British pounds on McIlroy at 11-1 odds Tuesday, posting on Twitter: "A sign? Forget Jesus on your toast, just found @McIlroyRory on my Danish. Surely a grand on Rory to win." If McIlroy pulls out a win, that bet would pay the equivalent of $18,500.

So he's got that going for him: The last PGA Tour winner who made cut on the number was McIlroy at the 2010 Quail Hollow Championship, McIlroy's first tour win.

Odds and ends: The last seven times the 36-hole leader led by at least three shots, as Bubba Watson does, he went on to win twice. And 76 of the 77 winners were within six shots of the lead or closer through 36 holes. Only Jack Burke (1956) has come from further back at the halfway point (eight shots). … 23 of the past 24 winners shot par or better in the second round. … The only amateur to make the cut was the University of Tennessee's Oliver Goss (76-71—147, 3 over), an Australian who turns 20 today. … Six players 50 or older made the cut: Fred Couples, Sandy Lyle, Bernhard Langer, Larry Mize, Vijay Singh and Jose Maria Olazabal.

Information from ESPN and cbssports.com was used in this report.

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