Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Mickelson's major cut streak ends

Phil Mickelson misses the cut to end his majors streak at 18. It had been the longest current.

Getty Images

Phil Mickelson misses the cut to end his majors streak at 18. It had been the longest current.

LYTHAM ST. ANNES, England — Phil Mickelson left the British Open perplexed about the state of his game. More surprising is 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 8-over 78 and at 11-over 151 missed the cut in a major for the first in five years, dating to the British Open at 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.

Most aggravating for him is that he doesn't feel that far off.

He worked on his ball position with swing coach Butch Harmon on Thursday after opening with 73 and was hopeful of turning it around.

A capsule of his day: At No. 7 he pushed his drive to the left and beaned a spectator. With a reasonable lie, three photographers tried to capture the shot. Instead of asking them to move, Mickelson ignored them and his shot went about 3 feet over one photographer's head.

"I'll work with Butch this week and see if I can get some direction in my play and see if I can get myself into a better frame of mind heading into these next two months, because we've got some big tournaments coming up," he said.

speaking of beaned spectators … : Rory McIlroy bought a hotel room and gave some spending money to the 16-year-old who was hit in the head by his errant tee shot Thursday. The teenager watched Friday as McIlroy hurt only himself. He took two shots to get out of a bunker on the par-3 ninth for double bogey, had to play sideways out of a water-filled bunker on the 17th and wound up with 75 to fall 12 shots behind. "I wasn't committing to my tee shots," McIlroy said.

easy for him to say: Tiger Woods got one of the biggest cheers of the day when he holed out from a greenside bunker on No. 18 with a shot that rolled into the cup for his second straight 67 and 6-under 134, four shots off the lead. "It wasn't as hard as it may have looked," Woods said of the shot. "Because I was on the upslope, I could take out that steepness coming off the bunker and land the ball on the flat. So (I) just threw it up there, and I played about a cup outside the left, and it landed on my spot and rolled to the right."

more water hazards: After a summer of endless rain in England that pushed the water table to its limit, only about a half-inch of rain overnight was needed to fill the bottom of the course's 206 bunkers and turn dozens of them into small ponds. Crews were using squeegees in the morning just to allow spectators to walk onto the grounds. Players still had to tiptoe around puddles in the fairways. Otherwise, the course was in reasonable condition, courtesy of the links soil that drains well.

history lesson: Tom Watson, 62, who extended his record as the oldest man to play on the weekend since the British Open went to a 36-hole cut, won his first Open (1975) before any of the first four players on the leaderboard were born.

Mickelson's major cut streak ends 07/20/12 [Last modified: Friday, July 20, 2012 11:06pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bucs have chance to beat Vikings in their third stadium


    Here's a cool sign that the Bucs are getting up there as an NFL franchise: If Tampa Bay can win Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium, it will mark the first time the Bucs have posted road wins against the same NFL opponent in three different stadiums.

    TIMES ARCHIVES (2012) | Bucs RB Doug Martin runs during Tampa Bay's 36-17 win at the Vikings in 2012, in what was then called Mall of America Field. If Tampa Bay wins Sunday, it will mark the first time they have road wins against the same NFL opponent in three different stadiums.
  2. NFL commissioner, players' union angrily denounce Trump comments on national anthem


    SOMERSET, N.J. — The National Football League and its players' union on Saturday angrily denounced President Donald Trump for suggesting that owners fire players who kneel during the national …

    President Donald Trump walks off the stage after he speaks at campaign rally in support of Sen. Luther Strange, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, in Huntsville, Ala. [Associated Press]
  3. Matt Peca making case for Lightning spot


    Center Matt Peca said he didn't read too much into the fact he was the only Lightning player to appear in each of the first three exhibition games.

    But Peca, 24, loved it.

    Matt Peca won nine of 10 faceoffs Friday, a skill the Lightning badly needs.
  4. Bucs players respond to Trump comments on anthem protests


    President Donald Trump shared his thoughts Friday night on NFL players protesting during the national anthem, suggesting that NFL owners should "fire" players who kneel during the anthem in protest. His remarks are alreading drawing responses from many NFL players, including some Bucs.

    Bucs players Mike Evans and Jameis Winston stand with coach Dirk Koetter during the national anthem in a game played in San Diego last season.
  5. Rays morning after: Wilson Ramos showing glimpses of what's possible in 2018


    The real payoff for the Rays signing C Wilson Ramos last off-season will come in 2018, when he can play a full season fully recovered from right knee surgery.

    Catcher Wilson Ramos connects for a two-run single in the fifth inning against the Cubs on Sept. 20, 2017.