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PALM HARBOR, Fla. – The top two players in the world, Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas, are among those on the right side of the cutline at the Valspar Championship, but with a lot of catching up to do on the weekend.
For Phil Mickelson and Patrick Reed and others, they’ll be home for the weekend.
Mickelson missed his sixth cut in 13 starts this season, but not without a fight. After shooting 2-over 73 on Thursday he made bogey at No. 4 before making back-to-back birdies at Nos. 5 and 6 and a string of three birdies in a row beginning at No. 11. But the Snake Pit, the three-hole stretch at the Copperhead Course comprising of Nos. 16-18, bit back. Bogeys at 16 and 18 had Mickelson signing for 2-under 69 and one stroke too many to play the weekend.
Phil Mickelson walks on the eighth hole during the second round of the Valspar Championship on the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort on April 30, 2021 in Palm Harbor, Florida. (Photo: Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
"I know what my problem is. I'm not physically able to keep my focus. As I've gotten older, I have a hard time focusing. And that's my challenge right now and I'm trying to come up about with – I'm trying all different things to be able to elongate my ability to stay focused or to refocus," he explained. "But when I get called off shots, like cell phones ringing or people yelling or something, my physical ability to refocus, to back away and then refocus and so forth, I'm not able – I'm physically not able to do it right now. So I have to find techniques to be able to – I mean, to be able to do that."
Patrick Reed plays his shot from the bunker on the 1st hole during the first round of the Valspar Championship. (Photo: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports)
Patrick Reed made a bogey at No. 15 and missed a 40-foot birdie putt at 18 to shoot 1-over 72 and finish at even-par 142. He missed the cut for the second straight year at a tournament where he's also finished tied for second on two occasions.
Gary Woodland tees off on the 5th hole during the first round of the 2021 Valspar Championship. (Photo: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports)
Gary Woodland was six over through his first seven holes on Thursday and never recovered. He opened with 77 and shot 71 on Friday. The 2019 U.S. Open champion has missed half his cuts in his 14 starts this season as he tries to regain his form after recovering from surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left hip.
Mike Visacki looks over the green on the 3rd hole during the second round of the Valspar Championship. (Photo: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports)
Mike Visacki's dream came true when he was able to Monday Qualify his way into the Valspar Championship. His PGA Tour debut will go down in the record books as a missed cut, but he shot even par on Friday to finish at 3-over 145. He made birdies on all three par 5s, but failed to get up and down from a bunker at No. 4 and took three putts at Nos. 9 and 18. Still, Visacki won the week with his viral video.
Graeme McDowell sits on the sign at the 6th tee during the second round of the 2021 Valspar Championship. (Photo: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports)
A two-day total of 147 (74-73) at the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook sent Graeme McDowell packing for the ninth time in 14 starts this season. He struggled with his approach shots and short game around the green – not a combination for success.