AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - Phil Mickelson lamented his poor course management after compiling his worst ever score at Augusta National, a seven-over 79, to miss the cut after the second round at the Masters on Friday.
On a day when metaphorical train wrecks were not exactly a rare commodity, few made more costly mistakes than Mickelson.
The three-times champion ran up three double bogeys, at the seventh, 15th and 16th holes, to miss the cut by one stroke at seven-over 151, just his third early exit in 24 starts here.
“I just threw away a lot of shots. This is the worst I’ve managed myself around this course,” the 45-year-old American said.
”I love this tournament so much, and I’ve been playing so well, to come in and make some of those mistakes and the doubles and stuff that I made today is very disappointing.
“I know it was tough, but it wasn’t as tough as I made it look. It was very playable. The guys that played well got rewarded and the guys who did dumb stuff like I did shot a big number.”
Mickelson’s first double bogey, at the par-four seventh, came after he got too cute with a greenside bunker shot and left his ball in the sand.
The next debacle, at the par-five 15th, came after he prudently laid up with his second shot, only to chunk his third into the pond guarding the green.
He then compounded his misery by finding water again at the par-three 16th. One minute he had been within striking distance of the lead, the next he was making plans to head home to southern California, albeit in the luxury of his private jet.
“I love everything about the event and I just wish I was a part of it,” he said, hardly consoled by the knowledge he will be back next year.
Mickelson was not the only prominent player to run into trouble on a day when the course yielded 50 double bogeys and seven scores of triple bogey or worse.
One bad hole cost American Zach Johnson and Branden Grace, who both missed the cut by two strokes.
Johnson, the 2007 champion, ran up a triple at the par-five 13th after incurring a two-stroke penalty when his club skimmed the water as he tried to play a recovery shot out of the hazard in front of the green.
South African Grace had a quadruple-bogey at the par-three sixth, where his tee shot came up just short of the green, 20 yards from the hole.
From there he took the unusual step of progressively getting further from the hole with his next three shots as one chip after another failed to climb the sleep slope and ran back to his feet.
Other notables to bow out early included 2011 champion Charl Schwartzel of South Africa and American world number five Rickie Fowler.