SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Phil Mickelson's blazing start to the Waste Management Phoenix Open has been the talk of the tournament, but there's another intriguing storyline that emerged from his three-man group.
While Lefty (60-65) was busy torching TPC Scottsdale on Thursday and Friday, playing partners Rickie Fowler and Jason Dufner were on their way to an early exit. Both Fowler and Dufner carded matching 139s (three under par) over the first 36 holes of competition to miss the cut by one stroke.
For Dufner (68-71), the missed cut in Phoenix marks the end of the longest active cut streak on the PGA Tour at 22 events. Ian Poulter now holds the current record at 16 consecutive made cuts.
After posting a T18 at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions to open the season, Dufner went abroad to record a couple of T9s on the European Tour before crashing and burning in Arizona on Friday. It's a disappointing performance for a player who was expected to have a big weekend after placing second in this tournament in 2011 and T8 last year.
In addition to Dufner, the missed cut brings an abrupt halt to the early season success Rickie Fowler was riding into the WMPO. Fowler (68-71) finished T6 in both the Hyundai Tournament of Champions and Farmers Insurance Open before missing the cut Friday in Arizona.
As for Mickelson, the man who flirted with a historic 59 on Thursday went on to card a 65 on Friday, good for a four-shot lead over Bill Hass (65-64) heading into the weekend.