Last-hole meltdown dampens Mickelson hopes
12 Nov 2011 - 03:46:53
Four-time major-winner Phil Mickelson made it into the Barclays Singapore Open final rounds despite a last-hole double-bogey meltdown in which he found the water twice.
Mickelson, completing his second round after thunderstorms curtailed day two, drove his second shot into water on the par-five 18th and then watched in horror as his chip span back 25 yards off the green and into the drink.
The tournament's biggest drawcard, whose induction into golf's Hall of Fame was announced on Thursday, finished with a seven on the hole for a round of 67 and four-under-par 138 overall, surviving the cut by just two shots.
The finish was particularly galling for the American world number 11 after he birdied four of his five previous holes. He called the freak chip, which slashed his chances of claiming the US$1 million first prize, "upsetting".
"I did not have a bogey all day and tried to get aggressive on 18 and took a risk and hit driver into the water. But that was not what was upsetting. I understand that I am taking some risk there," Mickelson said.
"But I hit a wedge shot after I took a drop -- it spun back 90 feet in the water and I do not understand that. That was a little frustrating.
"I had a chance to get right in the tournament with a birdie at the last -- that double put me back quite a way so I am going to have to shoot a really low round to get into contention for Sunday."
Mickelson was 10 shots adrift of halfway leader Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, who completed a 10-under-par wonder-round to lead the field by three strokes on 15-under 127.
"I'm thrilled -- you don?t shoot 10-under very often," said the Spaniard.
"There's no better place to be. But there's a long way to go. The Serapong course is really challenging and demanding but anything can happen and I cannot think of a better place to be than 15-under."
England's James Morrison and Edoardo Molinari of Italy were tied for second at par-71 Sentosa Golf Club, while 2009 PGA Championship winner Y.E. Yang was seven shots off the lead in joint eighth.
Major-winners Graeme McDowell, Ernie Els and Retief Goosen escaped the cut alongside veterans Colin Montgomerie and Miguel Angel Jimenez, but Irish star Padraig Harrington was out alongside 2008 champion Jeev Milkha Singh.
The third round was due to start at 11:00 am (0300 GMT) from both the first and 10th tees as clouds gathered and possible thunderstorms were forecast.