News24

Mickelson crashes out of FBR

2009-01-31 08:44

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona - American Phil Mickelson failed to make the cut in his season debut, shooting a 73 in the second round of the six million dollar FBR Open on Friday.

Mickelson, the fourth ranked player in the world, was well back of second round leader Nick Watney, who carded a bogey-free 63.

Watney is gunning for his second career title. His Friday round featured four birdies and a pair of eagles to move to nine-under 133 overall.

The second round was suspended due to darkness with the final group out on the course with two holes to play.

One day after calling his five-over-par 76 a "disgusting" round, Mickelson was only marginally better Friday.

Mickelson never found his rhythm en route to 73, which left him at seven-over 149 and well off the projected cut of even.

"It just didn't come together. I didn't play well," Mickelson said. "The course is beautiful. It's in great shape, and it's an exciting time here with the Cardinals being in the Super Bowl. But I didn't get that momentum and play well."

The ugly showing was surprise for Mickelson, a local hero who played his college golf at Arizona State.

It marks the first time in his 18-year career that Mickelson has missed a cut in his season opener.

Watney, whose lone title came at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans in 2007, is one-stroke clear of Charley Hoffman, Matt Kuchar and James Nitties.

"I was hitting the ball close, and I kept telling my caddie just to get me on the green anyway and I felt like I could hole it," Watney said. "I hit some good shots and made some nice putts."

Hoffman signed for a 68, Kuchar a 67 and Nitties a 69 to get to eight-under 134.

Kenny Perry fired a 63 with seven birdies and eagle and one bogey to pull within two shots of the lead at seven-under. Cameron Beckman carded a 67 to join Perry in a tie for fifth.

"I've had a lot of Top 10s here. I just enjoy coming here. It's just a fun tournament," Perry said.

AFP