Phil Mickelson shot 40 on the back nine on Friday.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
AUGUSTA,, Ga. -- Augusta National giveth and it taketh away. We all know that, and Phil Mickelson was the most recent example after two completely opposite tours of the final nine holes on the Alister Mackenzie masterpiece.
The three-time Masters champion had taken advantage of the memorable stretch on Thursday, coming home in 33 to get into red numbers at 1 under. On Friday, though, Mickelson made three bogeys and one double on the way to a 40 and a disappointing round of 76.
"I made a lot of mistakes today," the popular lefthander said. "I made a lot of poor mistakes that I just can't do around here."
One of the biggest came at the 10th hole as he hit a gap wedge to the back pin on the 460-yard par 4. The ball landed in a greenside bunker, though, and Mickelson turned a "pretty easy" shot out of the sand into a 15 foot par putt that he missed.
"So I don't know what happened there, but it threw me and it carried over to the next shot, because I hit an awful shot at 10," said Mickelson, who made another bogey there.
An errant 9-iron at the 12th hole produced the lone double bogey. He followed with a birdie at the par-5 12th but dropped shots on the next two holes and the tide was completely turned.
"I was disappointed," Mickelson said. "After I doubled 12, I came back with a birdie. I think I was only 1 over for the Tournament at the time. So I could have gotten right back to even or 1 under coming in. And I had a good drive on 14, I hit a gap wedge again short and ... I made bogey."
Mickelson's cumulative score of 3 over leaves the World Golf Hall of Famer with considerable ground to make up if he is going to have a chance on Sunday. But he knows that Augusta National, perhaps more than any other course, offers opportunities when you least expect them.
"You're never out of this tournament," Mickelson said. "You just never know what's going to happen.
"I've got a little bit of work to do, it doesn't feel far off. My putter is very close. I've hit a lot of good putts that have not gone in that have come very close the first two days. If I can get a couple to fall and hit a few more good shots, I think that I have something in the mid 60s, which I will need tomorrow to get back in it".