Phil Mickelson's 5 over doesn't cut it


AUGUSTA, Ga. -- After another inexplicable triple-bogey -- accomplished for the second day in a row without a penalty stroke -- Phil Mickelson was left to ponder the possibility of missing a 36-hole cut at the Masters for the first time in 17 years.

That possibility became reality as the 43-year-old Mickelson finished with a 73 to run his 36-hole total to 5-over 149, which finished outside the top 50 and ties when second-round play was completed Friday.

Asked if he might watch the tournament over the weekend if not at Augusta National, Mickelson said: "Probably, yeah. It's an exciting tournament, I probably will. It (would) kind of be my punishment."

Mickelson was 12 shots behind leader Bubba Watson.

The only time in 22 Masters appearances that Mickelson missed the cut was in 1997. His 16 consecutive cuts made was one behind the 17 straight made by Tiger Woods, who is missing the tournament due to injury.

It will be the first time since 1994 -- when neither player was in the field -- that both Woods and Mickelson will be missing from a Masters weekend.

As he did on Thursday, Mickelson made it difficult on himself with a sloppy triple-bogey.

On Thursday, it was at the par-4 seventh, where a poor chip and a 3-putt led to a 7. On Friday, it was at the par-3 12th, where after his tee shot found the front bunker, he hit the next one over the green into the back bunker, then again went across the green into the front bunker. He finally blasted to the back of the green.

"There was no sand where I was at," Mickelson said. "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 birdied three of his last five holes but also had a bogey at the 15th. He played the front nine in even par.

Afterward, he said that he had been concerned about his lack of tournament preparation this year, even though he competed the two weeks prior to the Masters.

"What I've been nervous about is having a hole like 7 yesterday, a hole like 12 today, where I go along, making pars, putting the ball in the right spot and you just get a bad situation," he said. "And I end up letting instead of one sliding, two or three are going away. That's the kind of stuff when you're playing tournament golf and you're mentally sharp you don't do. And that's the kind of stuff I seem to be doing right now."

Mickelson, a three-time winner of the Masters, said the injury -- a pulled muscle -- that knocked him out of the Valero Texas Open two weeks ago was not a factor.

"Physically I feel great," he said. "I haven't had any problems. I've been able to play healthy. I haven't had to think about it. But I'm not really sharp."

Mickelson has been over par in five consecutive rounds at Augusta National dating to last year, a first in his Masters career.

In all, 29 of the top 30 players in the world played the Masters and 14 of them missed the cut, including the last two major champions -- Mickelson and Jason Dufner (PGA).

Also heading home for the weekend are Sergio Garcia, Luke Donald, Ernie Els, Graeme McDowell, Dustin Johnson, Angel Cabrera and Charl Schwartzel.