Phil Mickelson made six birdies in the second round of The Players Championship.
And shot even par.
Mickelson also had three bogeys and a triple bogey for a 72, which put him at 1 under par for the championship, good enough to make the cut.
The manic scorecard is more than just “Phil being Phil.” It’s, as Mickelson stated after his round, for the umpteenth time, a lack of focus that is leading to round-wrecking numbers.
Scorecard for player 11134 during event 19181. Round pinned: 2
“I’m not focusing with the tunnel vision of seeing what I want to do and go do it and letting my body react and respond to it,” he said. “There’s nothing physically holding me back. I feel as good and as strong and as healthy as I’ve ever been, and I have no reason why I cannot play at the highest level again, but I haven’t been as sharp mentally, and I’m going to work on that.”
Beyond this weekend at TPC Sawgrass, Mickelson will have a few more PGA Tour rounds to fine-tune his mental approach ahead of the Masters. He said he expects to play next week’s Honda Classic and the Valero Texas Open.
Mickelson isn’t eligible for the event between those two, the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, which is on offer to the top 64 on the Official World Golf Ranking. In the most recent edition of the OWGR, Mickelson dropped to No. 101, the first time since 1993 that he’s been outside the top 100.
The 50-year-old hasn’t finished better than T-44 in his last 10 Tour starts, dating back to last year, but he stated Friday afternoon that he’s seeing progress.
“I’ve got to start now shooting some numbers,” said the 2007 Players champion. “I feel like I’m able to do it. Like I feel like I’ve made enough progress to where I can start scoring again, and, quite honestly, the first two rounds I feel should have been quite a bit lower. But I have a chance to improve on that this weekend and the coming weeks, as well. So, I’m optimistic that I’m going to start playing to my expectations again.”