On Friday afternoon we got our answer: It was a chance for Mickelson to show that his second place finish at the Open Championship wasn't a precursor to a run of stellar golf leading up to the final major of the year.
Mickelson missed his first cut of the season with a 3-over 73 on Friday, including a stretch of seven holes that saw him make four bogeys and submarine his chances of playing the weekend.
Sure, it won't be much fun watching the final two rounds of the Greenbrier without the tournament's marquee name in the field. But based on the way Mickelson played, maybe it's a good thing he'll have a couple extra days to practice before heading to Firestone.
Despite Mickelson saying he wasn't unhappy with his play, it's hard to find a silver lining in his week. His opening round included five birdies, but he negated every one of them with five bogeys. And Friday's second round was more of the same -- another rollercoaster round from Mickelson that saw him lose ground on the field and then try and make it back up.
Should we look at the missed cut as a sign he won't be ready for the PGA Championship? Probably not. Phil has played poorly leading into major championships and won before, but the thing that worries me about Lefty is how he deviated from his successful game plan at the Open Championship.
After playing conservative and posting the best Open finish of his career, he reverted back to "Phil the thrill" at the Greenbrier, continually missing greens and relying on his short game to keep him in the tournament. It makes you wonder which one of his alter egos will show up in Atlanta.
For now it's just a missed cut for Mickelson, but if he shows up and plays the same way next week at the WGC, you can be sure people will start to wonder if he can win at Atlanta Athletic Club with an erratic game.
- PGA Championship