As good as Phil Mickelson was on Thursday, he was just as bad on Friday. The 50-year old star simply did not bring his best to the Quail Hollow Club on day two of the Wells Fargo Championship, finishing with a 75 to sit 3 under par.
Mickelson, who opened with a 64 and slept on his first lead in a year, started his round with five straight pars before making bogey on the 6th hole. He would get that shot back with a birdie on the par-5 7th to turn in even-par 35 and that was pretty much the highlight of his round.
A frustrating par on the par-5 10th was followed by a bogey on No. 11, and after seemingly settling down with three-straight pars, the wheels completely fell off in a three-hole span where he bogeyed the very scoreable par-5 15th followed by a double on the par-3 17th.
In the end, Mickelson signed for a disappointing round of 75 to fall back to 3 under for the tournament.
“I don’t know. I hit a lot of good shots on the front nine, I didn’t make any putts and turned in even,” said Mickelson, when asked about the differences between Thursday and Friday.
“Then the back nine I made — I just — I just wasn’t sharp.
“I think kind of an example of what I’ve been talking about (not being focused) is like on 17 we’re standing over the ball and I’m changing my mind, and I’m changing the shot – moving the clubhead a little bit and it just – instead of backing away and kind of refocusing, I just kind of hit it. And I’m not really kind of aware of what I’m doing.
“So I’ve got to fix that and work on it.”
Yet, thanks to the first-round 64, Mickelson was just three off the lead, and well positioned for Saturday’s moving day.
“But I’m excited to be in contention heading into the weekend, and I know I’m playing well,” continued Mickelson. “So that will be a big thing for me is just to be present on each shot because I threw two shots away on 15 and two on 17 and that ultimately, you know, things I’ve been doing and I just can’t keep doing that.
“And I’m optimistic for the weekend, though.”