Mickelson among big names missing the cut
Phil Mickelson was one of the biggest casualties as the cut fell at the end of the first two rounds of The 146th Open at Royal Birkdale.
Last year, the veteran American left-hander chased eventual champion, Henrik Stenson, all the way in one of the most dramatic finales The Open has ever produced, but 12 months later he made no such impact after carding rounds of 73 and 77 to finish well back in the pack on ten over par 150.
“It’s just one of those things. Unfortunately, it’s the first cut I’ve missed this year but I admit I missed it with flare,” he joked. “I thought I was prepared Thursday. I felt I was ready. I thought I had a good game plan. I thought I was sharp, but obviously I wasn’t. I’ve got this week off to see if I can get sharp for Akron and the PGA.”
The cut fell at five over par 145 and Mickelson was by no means the only former Champion Golfer of the Year to drop out.
Padraig Harrington, who lifted the Claret Jug here in 2008, suffered the heartache of missing out by a single shot after carding two rounds of three over par 73. 1996 Champion Golfer of the Year, Tom Lehman, and 2011 winnier, Darren Clarke both finished on 148 while Paul Lawrie (1999) was one shot further back despite opening with a level par 70. Stewart Cink (150), David Duval (151) Mark O’Meara (151) Louis Oosthuizen (152) John Daly (152), Sandy Lyle (153) and Todd Hamilton 158 were the other pasts winners who also failed to make it.
On a day of fluctuating fortunes, Lee Westwood, Danny Willett, Justin Rose and local hope, Tommy Fleetwood all made it right on the mark, but there was no such luck for their Ryder Cup colleague, Francesco Molinari, and Americans, Patrick Reed and Justin Thomas, who all missed out by two shots on seven over par 147.