For the third straight year, Phil Mickelson, who was making his first start since his (sixth) U.S. Open heartbreak, will not play the weekend at the Greenbrier Classic. Mickelson finally broke par in his sixth round at The Old White TPC, shooting a two-under 68 on Friday, but it wasn’t good enough to counter his opening four-over 74.
“It has been a frustrating three years for me playing like this on a golf course that I really admire and respect,” said Mickelson.
Phil, who hasn’t made the trip to West Virginia the past three years just because he likes missing cuts and hanging out at the lavish resort, blamed his woes on his inability to figure out his yardages due to the altitude change, according to GolfChannel.com’s Jason Sobel:
“It’s my distance control with my irons I haven’t figured out yet,” he said after hitting 24 of 36 greens in regulation over two days. “We’re a couple thousand feet, [but] we’ve been practicing at sea level, so obviously it’s going to go longer. It’s the same altitude as Phoenix but it goes a different yardage and I haven’t quite figured it out. I’ve posed over a lot of iron shots today and they end up not just a yard or two off from where I figure, but they’re 10 or 12 yards off from where I figure. I think as I look back on these last three years, that’s been the biggest issue for me is distance control with the irons.”
Huh? BUT YOU’RE PHIL MICKELSON, you should be able to adjust!
Phil being Phil had plenty of cases to cite from his rounds.
“I’ll give you an example that sets the tone for this week: On 16, the par 4, I hit a great drive and an iron shot that I thought was going to hit the pin coming down,” he explained. “Not only did it not hit the pin, it flew a yard from the back edge and went over the green and into the rough. It caught me off guard to fly seven yards off the number I was expecting. I just have not been able to get my distance dialed in here. The elevation change, I haven’t been able to adjust to it.”
After missing the cut by three strokes, Mickelson jetted home to San Diego for a few days before heading over to Scotland for next week’s Scottish Open and potentially a few extra practice rounds at Muirfield for the Open Championship in two week’s time.
“I’m planning on it,” said Phil, referring to checking out Muirfield early. “I’m going to try to. I’ll head over there for the Scottish and maybe slide over for a day Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday – I’m not sure – over to the British.”
Meanwhile, Matt Every fired a eight-under 62 on Friday for a 36-hole total of nine-under to take a one-shot lead over Daniel Summerhays, Bill Lunde, Johnson Wagner, Russell Henley and Steven Bowditch.
(Photo by USA Today Sports)