How Phil Mickelson showed ‘there is life in the old bones yet’

Phil Mickelson

Phil Mickelson hits a shot on Friday on the 4th hole on the South Course at Torrey Pines.

Getty Images

Phil Mickelson, during Friday’s second round of the Farmers Insurance Open, bogeyed his first hole on the South Course at Torrey Pines. And his fifth. He birdied his sixth. And his 10th. He bogeyed his 14th. In his hometown of San Diego, at a tournament he’s won three times, at the age of 50, in a career where he’s won 44 times, Mickelson was scrambling to play two more rounds. 

Then he bogeyed his 16th. 

“Oh no,” he said to himself after his 7-footer slid past the left side of the hole, his third putt on the par-3. He was one over. The cut was one under.  

“That makes things extremely difficult for Phil now,” analyst Colt Knost said on the Golf Channel broadcast. “He’s going to have birdie the last two.”

Then it started to hail. 

“This is like ice knives coming down,” analyst Nick Faldo said at one point on the broadcast. The wind had been blowing. That felt like a breeze now. 

On the par-4 17th, Mickelson hit his tee shot down the right side of the fairway. He hit his second shot, while wearing black gloves on both hands, just past the hole, and it spun back to 13 feet.    

Then the weather horn sounded. 

Mickelson, playing partners Xander Schauffele and Jordan Spieth, and everyone still on the course in the late afternoon walked back to the clubhouse. They waited for 45 minutes. 

Then Mickelson rolled in the putt. 

“There is life in the old bones yet,” analyst Mark Immelman said on the broadcast.  

On the par-5 18th, Mickelson sliced his drive left. He hit his second shot, while standing in wet grass, to within about 90 yards of the hole. On his third, with water in front of the green, after staring down the flag from behind his ball for a few seconds, he pitched it to within 11 feet. 

Then Mickelson rolled in the putt. 

One under. 

Phil Mickelson: Do this to hit ‘nasty bombs’ without causing injury
By: Luke Kerr-Dineen

“That’s brilliant,” Faldo said on the broadcast. “Because he had to do it. That’s what golf’s all about, here on a Friday.”   

“Nick, it will be forgotten it’s to make the cut and he’s won 44 times, but that was pretty special,” announcer Terry Gannon said.  

“It will give him a little pride,” Faldo said. “He’ll go home tonight and think, ‘Hey, if I can do that, how can I conjure that intensity up for the weekend? I can do anything.’”

In his hometown of San Diego, at a tournament he’s won three times, at the age of 50, in a career where he’s won 44 times, Mickelson scrambled to play two more rounds. He is eight shots back of leader Viktor Hovland. 

“Yeah, watching him make the turn, right into the teeth of that wind, grinding on the 10th, grinding on the 11th, you thought, you know after all these years, 44 years, done just about everything there is in the game of golf, to watch a guy grind that hard — birdie the last two holes to make the cut — there’s still a lot in the tank when it comes to Phil Mickelson,” analyst Brandel Chamblee said on Golf Channel’s Golf Central after the round.   

generic profile image

Nick Piastowski

Golf.com Editor