Usually when you send two shots into the water in a round, it's going to be a long, ugly day. That is, unless you're Phil Mickelson, in which case it's business as usual.
Mickelson turned what could have been a nightmarish Thursday at the Wells Fargo into a respectable round, and followed that with a Friday that put him very much in the championship hunt. On Thursday, Mickelson managed to finish with a 3-under 69, crafting a strong round after two bogeys in the first six holes. Friday he brought home a 6-under, bogey-free round of 66 that left him one stroke off Bill Haas' lead.
"The thing I love about this course is that the trees are very tight, so it's a very tight, tree-lined golf course," Mickelson said after Thursday's round. "But with the rough being kind of first cut or a little longer than first cut, you can recover. You can hit shots. You can try different things, try to get out and around these trees, and it makes for fun, exciting golf because you can see what I think is the most exciting golf, which is the recovery shot."
Oh, so he thinks that the recovery shot is the most exciting kind of golf? Yeah, considering he spends a significant portion of his golf day recovering -- quite well, we would add -- from one shot or another, it's not surprising he'd like that shot so much. It's almost as if he has to have a degree of difficulty added to any shot to make it worth his while.
Mickelson got outplayed last year on Sunday by a scorching-hot Rory McIlroy (yes, Rors does come through on a Sunday now and then), but considering McIlroy carded a wretched 75 on Thursday, that may not be an issue this year. Mickelson indicated he needs to get better off the tee if he's going to be in the hunt this weekend, but hey, if playing out of the trees means lower scores, spray it all over the place, Phil.