Phil Mickelson smiles on the 6th green. The smile would disappear with a couple of bogeys later. Michael Madrid, USA TODAY Sports
Augusta, GA (Sports Network) - Phil Mickelson said he needed to be more
aggressive after his opening-round 71.
Perhaps it's time to rethink that strategy.
He may have stuck to his word, but the results were inconsistent at best, as
Mickelson posted five bogeys and a double against three birdies at Augusta
National en route to a 76.
"I made a lot of mistakes today," said Mickelson. "I made a lot of poor
mistakes that I just can't do around here."
The three-time Masters champion wasn't the only big name to go 4-over par on
Friday, as light morning rain and a difficult setup led to high scores across
First-round co-leader Sergio Garcia hit the dubious mark and slipped to 2-
under through 36. A day after turning in his first bogey-free Masters card
since 2002, the Spaniard dropped a shot on the third, fourth, 11th and 13th
Big-hitter Dustin Johnson began the second round one shot off the pace and
grabbed the outright lead Friday before crumbling down the stretch. He bogeyed
14, found the water and doubled on 15, then dropped another shot on the 17th
and doubled again on the last for his 76.
Last year's runner-up Louis Oosthuizen and 1987 champion Larry Mize also went
4-over on the day.
Back to Mickelson, who referred to Thursday's round as a "birdie fest".
Lefty's opening-round run came on the second nine, where he posted a 33, but
the same stretch proved more challenging Friday.
A missed par putt at the 10th led to bogey and set the tone for an inward 40,
which included an errant 9-iron and a double at the 12th, and consecutive
bogeys after a birdie on the 13th.
"I was disappointed," said Mickelson. "After I doubled 12, I came back with a
birdie. I think I was only 1-over for the tournament at the time. So I could
have gotten right back to even or 1-under coming in. And I had a good drive on
14, I hit a gap wedge again short and ... I made bogey.
"I've got a little bit of work to do, it doesn't feel far off. My putter is
very close. I've hit a lot of good putts that have not gone in that have come
very close the first two days. If I can get a couple to fall and hit a few
more good shots, I think that I have something in the mid 60s, which I will
need tomorrow to get back in it."
Mickelson is 3-over through 36.
"You're never out of this tournament," he said. "You just never know what's
going to happen."
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