He certainly kept it interesting. It wasn’t clear whether or not Phil Mickelson would make the cut at the Farmers Insurance Open until the very end. With two holes left to play in the golf tournament, “Lefty” was sitting nicely at three under par, two shots clear of the cut line. There was obviously no doubt that he would make the cut at this point, right?
Not so fast. Mickelson went on to bogey each of the final two holes of his round, putting him at one under par, directly on the cut line. He had been on a nice little birdie run midway through his round, when he birdied three out of four holes to get him to three under par. A string of five straight pars preceded the almost unthinkable near breakdown over the final two holes.
Many of the experts thought that “Lefty” was going to come out of the gates hot during this California swing, but that hasn’t exactly been the case. Last week he finished tied for 37th place at the Humana Challenge and this week he barely squeaked into the weekend.
“Lefty” didn’t play badly over the first two days at Torrey Pines, but he did fail to capitalize on several opportunities. I’m sure he knows that he left quite a few shots out on the course, particularly on the somewhat forgiving North Course. He likely also knows that in order to win a tournament where other people are taking advantage of their chances, leaving shots on the course isn’t a recipe for victory.
The talk about Mickelson over the last week hasn’t been about his play on the course. Rather, it’s been about his comments regarding what he felt to be excessive taxation (between 62 and 63 percent) because he resides in California. He later backtracked on those statements and issued an apology.
Whether or not the incessant badgering by the media about his tax comments has had an impact on Phil’s game, he needs to get things going, and quickly. Mickelson is one of the truly good guys in the game of golf, and he shouldn’t be persecuted for comments he made about taxes.