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Phil Mickelson misses the Masters cut with a bad back nine

AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 08: Phil Mickelson of

AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 08: Phil Mickelson of the United States reacts after failing to make it out of the bunker on the seventh hole during the second round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 8, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) Photo Credit: Getty Images/ Harry How

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Phil Mickelson made double bogeys on both the 15th and 16th holes and despite making a birdie on No. 17, his attempt for another one on the final hole just missed. With that, he missed the Masters cut by one stroke on Friday. The three-time champion followed a solid first-round par 72 with a 79 and ended up 7 over.

Ernie makes gallant effort

Ernie Els won hearts by bouncing back from a six-putt green on the first hole Thursday. Not only did he show up, he showed well, shooting 1-over-par 73, which was a good score on Friday.

He finished at 9 over, missing the cut by three strokes. But only he knows how hard it was to play on Friday after his first-round apparent struggle with what golfers call the “yips.” Returning to the course felt “surreal” to him.

“It was like I walked on the range and even the players and caddies, they kind of looked at me as if I didn’t have pants on or something,” he said. “But they’ve got a good reason to look at me funny . . . You play long enough, you make a fool of yourself somewhere. I did it on the biggest stage.”

Spectators at the range gave him a warm ovation and the other golfers were sympathetically supportive. “He played great,” said Jason Day, who was in his threesome. “It shows a lot of heart.”

After having mentioned Thursday that others have quit the game after the same kind of episode, Els was more upbeat Friday, saying, “I was almost back to my normal self.”

Chip shots

Tom Watson made par on 18 to a sustained ovation in his final competitive hole in the Masters. Having announced this will be his 43rd and final time playing here, he shot 78 and finished 8 over . . . Bubba Watson, a two-time champion in the previous four years, shot a second consecutive 75 and just made the cut at 6 over . . . Zach Johnson, who won here in 2007, the last time the weather was as windy and cold as it is expected to be this weekend, missed the cut because he was assessed a two-stroke penalty by brushing the water with his backswing on No. 13 on his way to shooting 80.

New York Sports