|Not Phil's finest effort. (AP)|
Phil Mickelson didn't just miss the cut at the 2012 British Open. He straight-up shanked it into knee-high rough two holes away, firing an 8-over 78 on Friday to put himself at 11-over and well off the projected cut of 2-over.
Which means Mickelson will return to the States, still in confusion over the state of his overall golf game, but remarkably clear about what led to him not spending the weekend across the pond.
"I really don't know what to say," Mickelson said, via the Associated Press. "I obviously played terrible."
Not that Phil winning the British was expected or anything. As Shane wrote before the Open began, Phil would almost be the most shocking winner at Lytham, because his game simply doesn't fit the links-style play.
But Phil finished as the runner-up at the British last year, so there was some faint hope that he could recreate that magic and make a run. Instead, Thursday and Friday were more of an indication about where his overall game stands right now.
"I've got a way to go," Mickelson said. "The last two months have been pretty poor play so I'm a little frustrated. The scores are really far off. I don't know what to say."
Neither do we -- Thursday's 3-over effort was actually fairly impressive considering Phil spent most of his day digging through the weeds at Lytham, asking if he could get drops because he couldn't see his ball and appearing noticeably frustrated by the lies he was forced to play from. If you can find a picture of Phil smiling from Thursday, let us know, and while you're at it, send us a picture of Big Foot.
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Friday was even worse, with Phil missing the hot start (two birdies in the first four holes) that he found Thursday. He carded a 3-over on the front nine, and, following a birdie on the par-3 12th hole, things got ugly.
Lefty went double-double-bogey on the next three holes, with the zenith (as it were) coming when he was forced to play an impossible bunker lie right handed with the hope of simply scoring a lateral punch-out. Instead, the ball circled the hazard like a drain.
Which, come to think of it, is pretty spot-on symbolism for Phil's performance over the past 48 hours.