SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Phil Mickelson missed the cut Friday in the Phoenix Open, failing to advance for the sixth time in 26 appearances at TPC Scottsdale.
The three-time champion had a 5-over 76 in his afternoon round in alternating rain, drizzle and mist. After opening with a 69 on Thursday, he had six bogeys and a birdie in the second round.
“It was a difficult round, I thought, for everyone out there with the weather and the rain,” Mickelson said. “My short game was off today. I let a lot of shots slide around the greens and I’ve got to fix that. That happened last week, as well.”
The 44-year-old Mickelson also missed cuts in 1989, 1992, 2001, 2007 and 2009, the first two as an amateur while in school at Arizona State. He won the event in 1996, 2005 and 2013.
“I was very optimistic heading into this week,” Mickelson said. “I’m a little more surprised that I had such a struggle today, because I felt after yesterday’s round I was going to really come out today and do something special.”
Lefty headed back to San Diego to prepare for his hometown event next week at Torrey Pines.
“I wasn’t planning to go to the Super Bowl, anyway,” Mickelson said. “I will go back to San Diego and watch. I will maybe get even a little extra practice round in or two over at Torrey and get ready. See if I can get my short game sharp.”
The Hall of Famer tied for 24th last week in La Quinta, California, in his first event since the Ryder Cup in September. He’s winless since the 2013 British Open.
ONE AND DONE: One rowdy Phoenix Open a year is enough for Bubba Watson.
“If it was every week, we’d get tired of it,” Watson said. “We don’t want to get booed that many times. It’s just like the U.S. Open. We play it once a year. There’d probably be less golfers if we played it every week like that.”
Watson was tied for fourth at 6 under, four strokes behind leader Martin Laird. The two-time Masters champion followed his opening 65 with a 71. After dropping strokes on Nos. 6 and 8, he closed with a birdie on No. 9.
“The rain really affects my golf game,” Watson said. “So, for me, this is a great round.”
Watson is giving away Seattle Seahawks jerseys on the par-3 16th hole.
“Different guys for the Seahawks, because I know some guys with the Seahawks and I know some people that work for the Seahawks,” Watson said. “So, cheer for them, pull for them. I support a team that I know some people.”
SUN DEVIL SHINES: Arizona State junior Jon Rahm was 4 under after a 68.
The third-ranked amateur in the world, the long-hitting Spaniard is making his second start in a PGA Tour event.
“It was pretty much the best round in the rain I have ever had,” Rahm said. “Where I live, our climate is kind of like this. It gets cold and rainy, so I’m used to this weather.”
Sun Devils coach Tim Mickelson, Phil Mickelson’s brother, helped Rahm get a sponsor exemption. In his first PGA Tour event, he missed the cut in November in Mexico in the OHL Classic
“I kind of feel like I belong here,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, I was really nervous. … I kind of didn’t play as good as I could have. I learned from that and I was just like, `Whatever happens, just enjoy it. Just learn things and play as good as you can.'”
In September in Japan in the World Amateur Team Championship, Rahm broke Jack Nicklaus’ individual record at 23-under 263.
ALLENBY STUMBLES: Robert Allenby missed the cut by a stroke in his first event since his mysterious misadventure in Hawaii.
The 43-year-old Australian had a triple bogey and a double bogey in a 3-over 74. He opened with a 70 on Thursday.
On Tuesday, Allenby stood by his story that he was robbed and beaten after missing the cut two weeks ago in the Sony Open, basing the account on what he remembered and what he was told by a homeless woman. He said he has “no memory” from about 11:06 p.m. to 1:27 a.m. that night.
Honolulu police are investigating it as second-degree robbery. No arrests have been made.
DIVOTS: The crowd was estimated at 81,309 in the wet conditions. The event drew 118,461 on Thursday, a record for the opening round. … There was a 60 percent chance of more rain Saturday with a forecast high of 63. It is expected to be 70 and mostly sunny Sunday. … Bill Haas, the Humana Challenge winner last week, made the cut on the number at 1 over after rounds of 71 and 72.