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Phil Mickelson hopes Dell showing can merit return to Presidents Cup team

By Bill Doyle
Published on

NORTON -- Phil Mickelson admits it might be too little, too late, but he's doing his best to force Steve Stricker to consider him for one of his two captain's picks for the U.S. Presidents Cup team.

Mickelson shot a 4-under 67 on Saturday and is tied for sixth at 6-under 136 after two rounds of the Dell Technologies Championship at TPC Boston. He's only three shots off the lead.

Prior to this week, Mickelson suffered through a subpar season with only four top-10 finishes and the last of his 42 PGA Tour victories came way back in the 2013 British Open. In his last four events, Mickelson missed two cuts and finished tied for 39th and tied for 54th to drop to 18th in U.S. Presidents Cup points. The top 10 in points at the conclusion of the Dell Technologies Championship on Monday will make the U.S. team, and Stricker will announce his two choices on Wednesday.

MORE: Full scores

Mickelson, 47, has been a member of every U.S. Presidents Cup team since 1994.

"I would love to be the one he felt (should be) added to the team," Mickelson said, "but if I'm not, he's got to make that tough call. I totally understand it. I've had a tough time for a while. But these two rounds, although they've been great, I don't know if that's enough or not. Let's see how the weekend goes."

After missing the cut at the PGA Championhip last month, Mickelson visited the doctor who helped him when he was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis in 2010. Mickelson refused to get into specifics, but he credits the doctor with helping him improve his focus and energy which he had lacked for much of the past year.

"It's encouraging," Mickelson said. "It's been so frustrating to know that I've been striking it or playing at a certain level, and the scores haven't reflected it. It's been frustrating being on the course and not being able to visualize or see the shot I'm trying to hit and make a swing without much purpose or direction."

Mickelson was able to visualize his 67-foot approach that he hit to within 2 1/2 feet for an easy birdie on 18.

"I've got a 64-degree wedge for a purpose like that," Mickelson said, "where I can get underneath the ball and stop it a lot easier than a lot of guys who don't have that club, and that's where I save shots."

Mickelson said his energy level has boosted to the point where he planned to practice after his round, something he hadn't done in a while.

Should he have seen his doctor earlier?

"Yeah, but I didn't," he said. "I wouldn't have thought that that would have been the issue. I just thought, I don't know, I wasn't seeing the shot. I didn't think it was a medical thing."

Murray, Glover card aces

Grayson Murray carded a hole-in-one on the eighth hole, and before the applause even ended, Lucas Glover scored an ace on 16.

Murray used a 6-iron from 196 yards for the eighth hole-in-one of his career and his second this year. He scored one at the Travelers Championship in June. Last year, he won an Acura for scoring a hole-in-one in a Web.com Tour event in Kansas, but he decided to take the cash instead.

MORE: Watch both aces

"This year, I haven't won anything yet," said the 23-year-old native of Raleigh, North Carolina. "So I'm a little bummed about that."

Murray, one of the contenders for PGA Tour Rookie of the Year, shot a 3-under 68 to get to 6 under for the tournament.

Just 65 seconds after Murray's ace, Glover hit an 8-iron from 177 yards for his seventh hole-in-one. Glover saw Mickelson, his playing partner, hit a 7-iron shot that almost bounced through the green, so he decided to hit an 8. After his ace, Glover felt an adrenaline rush.

"Step up on 17," Glover said, "and hit a 3-wood 25 yards farther than I usually hit it because I was so pumped up. It was awesome."

Glover, the 2009 U.S. Open champion, shot a 2-under 69 and after opening with a 71.

Glover also won a car for one of his previous aces.

"Hit a big hook up off the hill, rolled back in," he said. "That one was garbage. This one was legit."

Kevin Tway, who played with Murray, aced the 11th hole on Friday. So Murray joked that Rod Pampling, the third member of their group the past two days, felt a little left out because he didn't score a hole-in-one.

Hopkinton High graduate Keegan Bradley recovered from an opening-round 76 to shoot a 68 and make the cut.

This article is written by Bill Doyle from Telegram & Gazette, Worcester, Mass. and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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