Phil Mickelson Misses Cut At Scottish Open

July 9, 2010- By Jonathan Lowell

Phil Mickelson squandered another chance to move into the No. 1 world ranking spot on the shores of Loch Lomond at the 2010 Scottish Open.  He shot a 3-over 74 to miss the cut by one shot Friday.

“Lefty” hit three tee shots on the 18th hole and finished with a quintuple bogey nine.  He failed to recover from the poor score during his round and finished one shot behind the leaders.  On the European Tour, the top 65 and ties make the cut.  Mickelson could have played his second tee shot, but didn’t realize in time and chose to hit a third.  It ended up being the difference between playing, and practicing for the upcoming British Open.

“It wasn’t too bad of a day except for two swings,” Mickelson said. “Those four penalty strokes hurt the round quite a bit.”

Darren Clarke conquered the terrible golf conditions Friday to take a four-shot lead into the clubhouse.  He had a run of birdies on the front nine, and chipped in a birdie on the tough 16th hole for a 4-under 67.

Golfers from Northern Ireland have had one of the best years in recent memory.  Graeme McDowell won the 2010 US Open at Pebble Beach this year for the first Major Championship of his career.

It was the fifth straight chance for Mickelson to pass Tiger Woods on the world ranking list.  He needed just a second place finish in the tournament to pass Woods, but will now take the weekend to practice for the upcoming tournament at St. Andrews.

Mickelson’s game has come under question lately, but at least he knows what he needs to work on before next weekend.
“The driver, to me, was one club that wasn’t the best,” Mickelson said, “The club felt like it slipped a little bit on the first one. The second one felt better. I had to take 3-wood out and aim to the right on the third.”

The 18th at Loch Lomond has water down the entire left side of the hole.  Mickelson hit his first shot in the water and a second that had a better chance to clear, but landed in the hazard.

After hitting his third shot well, Mickelson found his second drive actually had rested on the bank and could have been played.  He chose not to declare his third shot a provision, nor could he as a provisional shot is only for a ball that is hit out of bounds or lost.  Hazards are not included in the rule.

When asked if he let the fact that he has not been able to pass Woods affect him, Phil replied that he is focused on winning the next tournament.

“I haven’t thought about that,” Mickelson said. “I’m trying to get ready for the British Open and get my game sharp. And these first two days gave me the opportunity to see where it needs some work.”

USA sportsbooks have set Woods as the favorite to win the British Open at 4/1 odds.  Mickelson is just behind Woods in the betting favorites at 12/1.

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