After missing the cut in his first two appearances at the Greenbrier Classic, Phil Mickelson had plans on staying awhile in this year's tournament, but that didn't quite go as planned.
Mickelson's struggles on the Old White TPC Course continued Friday morning. He carded a 2-under 68 but that left him at 2-over-par for the tournament, and for the third straight year, Mickelson was outside the cut line.
“I played really well today,” Mickelson said. “I hit a lot of good shots and I think I have figured out why I struggle here. It’s my distance control with my eyes I haven't figured out yet. We’re a couple thousand feet and I have been practicing at sea level so obviously it’s going to go longer. It’s the same altitude as Phoenix but it goes at different yardage and I haven't quite figured it out. I posed over a lot of iron shots today and then they end up not just a yard or two off where I figure, but they’re 10 or 12 yards off of where I figure. I think as I look back on these last three years that’s been the biggest issue.”
Despite his misfortunes in West Virginia, Mickelson has no ill will towards the course or the resort.
“I think it’s one of the best architecturally designed golf courses that we play,” Mickelson said. “I'm looking at every hole, studying and learning from it. I thought the course set up was fabulous this year. I just think it’s a great track. It’s a wonderful golf course and hotel experience. It has been a frustrating three years for me playing like this on a golf course that I really admire and respect.”
Mickelson's playing partner, Bubba Watson will be around this weekend. Watson is 3-under after a 2nd round of 1-under 69. But it could have been much better.
“I just can't get the ball in the hole,” Watson said. “I’m hitting the ball great. I feel great, confident and everything. I’m hitting good strokes but the ball’s just not going in right now and that’s golf. One day you putt really good and hit the ball really bad. Right now I'm hitting really good and putting bad. I'm not very good at reading. I guess I’m illiterate.”
First round co-leader,Tommy Gainey, had it to 10-under as he made the turn but three bogeys on the back nine left him at 7-under par. Matt Every is the leader at 9-under after a late charge. Former Hokie Johnson Wagner is at 8-under, a shot back with four others.