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Phil Mickelson
Despite extra practice this week, Phil Mickelson hasn't been able to master Hazeltine's greens. (Franklin/Getty Images)

Usually a strength, putter bedevils Mickelson for second straight day

If it weren't for his woeful putting, Phil Mickelson might be challenging for the lead heading into the third round. Instead, he finds himself 11 shots off the lead and just thankful that he'll get to play the weekend.

By T.J. Auclair, PGA.com Interactive Producer

CHASKA, Minn. -- When Phil Mickelson signed his scorecard for a second consecutive 2-under 74 on Friday in the 91st PGA Championship at Hazeltine, he was tied for 91st at 4 over par and in serious danger of missing the cut.

“It’ll be interesting,” Mickelson said. “I don’t know if I’ll make it or not.”

Interesting indeed. Fast forward just a few hours later and Mickelson made the cut on the number thanks to winds that swept scores plunging off the leaderboard, suddenly in a tie for 62nd, 11 shots behind leader Tiger Woods, but with a weekend tee time nonetheless.

“I’m not going to beat many people putting the way I am,” Mickelson said. He had a dreadful 67 putts over the first two rounds, which was tied for 146th in the field of 156. “I spent some time working on it last night and thought I had some good direction… I’ve got to get this thing turned around.”

If it weren’t for the woeful putting, Mickelson might be challenging for the lead. He may have been terrible with the short-stick the first two days, but he was outstanding in every other facet of his game, evidenced by the fact that he was tied for fourth in the field in greens in regulation.

That said the putting troubles are wearing on him.

“I think the struggling on the greens is carrying over a little bit into my focus on some other shots,” Mickelson admitted. “I don’t feel like I’m hitting it bad, but I am hitting some bad shots. I don’t feel like I’m striking it horrendously, it’s just that I’m having trouble scoring right now.”
 

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