AUGUSTA, Ga. — Phil Mickelson has had his share of memorable shots from the trees, off the pine straw here. Once, he even won the Masters with one of them. This time, he might have cost himself any chance of winning by trying to do it again.
His attempted escape shot on the par-4 ninth hit flush against a skinny tree, bounced hard and landed in a bush. Mickelson took triple bogey 7 on the hole, shot 7-over-par 79 and finished the second round at 5 over, just making the cut.
“There was plenty of a gap, I just pushed it, trying to run a 2-iron down there in front of the green. I just thought it wasn’t a hard par if I just chased one down by the green,” the three-time Masters champion said.
He thought a 4 there, when he was still 2 under for the tournament, would help him at a time when scores were stagnant or rising. “It’s difficult because you keep fighting, you keep thinking, ‘Gosh, if I just get a birdie here or get one more back . . . then I just kept making bogeys,” he said.
Finau battles his ankle
Tony Finau regularly put the ball back in his stance to compensate for his sprained left ankle, sustained when he celebrated a hole-in-one during the Par 3 Contest Wednesday. He did not match the 68 that temporarily put him in the lead Thursday, but his 74 did leave him at 2 under for the tournament. He admitted he was putting pressure on the injured ankle, adding, “But we’re in the Masters, why not?”
Sergio misses cut at 15 over
Defending champion Sergio Garcia will have to stick around to put the green jacket on the winner Sunday despite having missed the cut at 15 over. He avoided hitting into the water on 15 Friday, after rinsing five shots there in making a 13 Thursday. Just to be safe, he did put a full dozen balls in his bag, Nick Faldo said on the ESPN telecast.