Mickelson misses first Masters cut since 1997
Three-time champion Phil Mickelson has missed his first cut at the Masters in 17 years, the victim of another whopping bad hole at Augusta National.
Mickelson, who posted a pair of sevens during the opening-round 76, finished outside the cut by one stroke, undone by a triple-bogey six at the par-three 12th.
''I just had one bad hole there at 12,'' said the 43-year-old lefthander.
''And I keep making these triples. They're tough to overcome.''
The world number five was troubled by some big numbers in his first round too, taking a triple-bogey seven at the par-four seventh and a double-bogey seven at the par-five 15th.
The reigning British Open champion, one of the most popular players among the galleries at Augusta National, has been a consistent performer at the Masters with 10 top-five finishes and 14 top-10s in his 21 previous visits.
Mickelson said that outside of those three holes, he played solid golf and had no excuses.
''Why couldn't I get it going? I don't really have a great answer for you,'' he said.
''I've actually played reasonably well for a majority of the holes and then the ones that I let slide I end up making a big number. So it's tough to overcome those big numbers.''
Mickelson spent most of his time at the pesky 12th, the shortest hole at Augusta, playing in the sand.
''What happened at 12 was I hit in the front bunker and there was no sand where I was at,'' explained Mickelson, who contended he could not slide his wedge far enough under the ball.
''I caught the liner of the bunker and bladed it across the green and the same thing happened on the other side. It went back and forth, three bunkers, before I finally got it to stay on grass.''
Mickelson needed a big finish to slip inside the cut line of four-under par.
Big Lefty put on a desperate charge, registering three birdies in four holes from the 14th and needed another birdie at the 18th to qualify for the last two rounds.
Mickelson found the final green with his approach, but it bounded far past the cup leaving him a monster putt for birdie which he was unable to convert, taking a par for 73 and a five-over 149 total.
Asked if he would watch the rest of the tournament on television, Mickelson said: ''I probably will. It will kind of be my punishment.''