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  • Mickelson: 'It was just mental mistakes'

  • Phil Mickelson is a three-time Masters champ. (David Cannon/Getty Images) Phil Mickelson is a three-time Masters champ. (David Cannon/Getty Images)

AUGUSTA, GA. -- A scorecard with a pair of 7s has put Phil Mickelson behind the eight-ball entering Friday's second round of the Masters.

Mickelson, who has won the Green Jacket three times, ended up signing for what he called a "disappointing" 76 on a sun-kissed day made for scoring but filled with "misjudged" shots.

His round included just one birdie and one bogey, as well as the triple bogey at the seventh and water-logged double bogey at the par-5 15th.

Prior to Thursday, Mickelson had played the seventh hole in 5 under and the 15th in 40 under.  He had never made a double bogey at the seventh, much less a triple, and Thursday's double at Augusta National's final par 5 was just his third in 83 rounds.  

"It wasn't the best day for me today," Mickelson said. "... I've got a lot of work to do tomorrow just to make the cut. So I've got some issues."

Mickelson has made the cut in 16 straight Masters. But he will start the second round tied for 67th with only the low 50 and ties within 10 strokes of the lead surviving to play the weekend.

Even with the pair of 7s -- marking just the second time the popular lefthander has signed for two in the same round in a major championship -- Mickelson said he felt like he "actually played well."

He chalked his problems up to "little mental errors" which he suggested might have surfaced since he hasn't really contended on TOUR yet this season.

"When I'm competitively sharp, those mistakes you just don't make," Mickelson said. "You don't throw those shots away out here."

Mickelson's normally sure-handed short game let him down on Thursday. He chipped through the green at the par-4 seventh on the way to that triple bogey and later dunked his third shot into the pond that fronts the 15th green.

"It was just mental mistakes like that, that I wasn't sharp," Mickelson said. "Because, throughout the day, I had pretty good control over where I wanted the ball to go, I was hitting it where I wanted, hitting my spots.

"I made a lot of mistakes like that around the greens and just threw away a ton of shots."

Mickelson only hit 12 greens in regulation on Thursday after finding 9 of 14 fairways. He had one three-putt among the 32 strokes he took on the greens.

"We got a long ways to go and I got a lot of work to do and I don't feel like my game is off, I really don't," Mickelson said. "I feel solid with my ball striking, I feel great with the putter. I hit all those chips solid and flush, but I misjudged them. I was just off.  I was really off today. It was very disappointing.
 
"But I don't feel like I got to go to the range and find something, I feel very confident with the way I'm hitting it and striking it, but ... I'm making way too many mistakes like that."

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