To say that 2014 has been a trying year for Phil Mickelson would be putting it mildly. Unfortunately, things don’t seem to be getting much better so far this week.
Several PGA Tour experts and pundits thought that the Wells Fargo Championship presented a great opportunity for Lefty to get things back on track. It made sense, of course. Mickelson has four top ten finishes at Quail Hollow over in the last five years, so he clearly knows and likes the course. Considering how things have gone so far this year, between injury and missing the cut at the Masters, every little bit of positive energy has to help.
If you’ve been watching the way Mickelson’s played this year, though, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that he’s been all over the place in Charlotte. He’s already struggled at several of his favorite courses. Other than the missed cut at Augusta, he was forced to withdraw at Torrey Pines with back problems. Even though he was able to return at TPC Scottsdale, he finished in just 42nd place in his Phoenix Open title defense.
That being said, if Mickelson is healthy, then perhaps the results this week don’t matter as much as Phil finishing a full tournament for just the third time in the last two months. Much like Tiger Woods this year, Mickelson’s season is gearing up for one event.
In six weeks at Pinehurst, Mickelson has a chance to finally exorcise his US Open demons. While I’m sure Phil still wants to win every tournament he enters and ultimately contend for the FedEx Cup, he could miss half his cuts and consider his year a success if he finally wins the major that has famously eluded him for years.
I’m positive that Mickelson’s struggles won’t last forever. He’s just too good for that to happen, and things aren’t over in Charlotte just yet.