SHANGHAI (Reuters) - The last time Phil Mickelson made a quadruple bogey he won the event and the American is hoping that lightning strikes twice as he moved into contention halfway through the WGC-HSBC Champions tournament on Friday.
Mickelson ran up a nine at the par-five eighth (his 17th hole) during Thursday’s opening round. The stern look on his face as he left the course suggested that anyone approaching him for a positive comment would do well to steer clear.
He was, however, in a far more jovial mood on Friday after shooting a four-under-par 68 that helped him get climb back into contention after an opening 71.
Mickelson may sit seven strokes behind runaway leader Dustin Johnson but the left-hander is only two shots behind a trio of players tied for second place.
“The good news for me is I’m playing well, making a lot of birdies, and if can eliminate some mistakes, I should have a chance on the weekend,” the British Open champion told reporters.
“That nine on my 17th hole yesterday really hurt but I fought back today to get back in it. I’m going to continue to play aggressively because I have to make birdies to catch the lead.
“Hopefully I’ll eliminate a few mistakes here and there.”
As for the last time he made a quadruple bogey, Mickelson had no trouble remembering exactly when and where it happened.
“I won the tournament. Tour Championship, 14th hole at East Lake in 2009,” he said of the disaster which also came in his opening round. “So it’s an omen.”
Editing by John O'Brien