Phil Mickelson missed the cut at the Greenbrier Classic Friday July 29, 2011, proving that he has been about as consistent this season as the Republicans and Democrats figuring out a viable debt plan.
Initially, when the word spread that Phil would be playing at the Greenbrier, there was almost no question he had a leg up on what has been considered a rather bland, run-of-the-mill field. Mickelson was the highest ranked player in the field, No. 6 in the OWGR, and by far the most accomplished. However, lackluster rounds of 70-73 sent him packing for another uneventful Phil performance. Mickelson told the media,
“I don’t know what to be disappointed about. I hit a few shots on the front nine that were actually really good shots that left me no chance to recover, and ended up trying to come back the back. But fell a couple of shots shy there.”
He went on to comment about the surprisingly grueling conditions of the golf course, which was a testament to the drastic redesign since last year when Stuart Appleby won the tournament with an incredible 22-under-par finish.
“It’s a very hard golf course. It’s hard to get the ball stopped. I hit sand wedges 40, 50 feet in. It’s hard to get the ball close…Unfortunately I won’t be able to play any more on the weekend.”
Missing the cut at the Greenbrier would be his first missed cut of the season, now 14 of 15 in 2011. Unfortunately, while his ability to make cuts has been reliable, his Achilles Heel has been finishing strong on the weekends.
Lefty ranks a terrific 7th on Tour in Scoring Average prior to the cut (69.93). However, the weekend tends to go sour for Phil, ranking 97th in Round 3 Scoring Average (70.77) and 37th in Final Round Scoring Average (70.31).
His results this season tell the story. In his first four events he had two top 10 finishes alongside two finishes outside of the top 30. Then after winning the Shell Houston Open and being glorified as the main contender at the Masters, he was never even a factor at Augusta, finishing a dismal 27th.
If you look at Phil’s performance from a more holistic perspective, his confidence over short putts has cost him not only higher finishes, but victories. As we saw at Royal St. George’s, Mickelson missed a few crucial putts inside six feet that allowed the elusive Open Championship to slip away into the hands of Northern-Irishman Darren Clarke. Similarly, Mickelson continued that hapless trend this week at the Greenbrier, letting countless short putts get the best of him.
With the WGC-Firestone on the horizon and the final major of the season just two weeks away, Mickelson better spend his time on the putting green because never has the golf adage rang truer than in the case of Lefty, “drive for show, putt for dough.”
(AP Photo/Steve Helber)