Genesis Scottish Open

The Renaissance Club


Phil running out of daylight

August 14, 2009

CHASKA, Minn. -- Two seemingly unrelated stories have found added relevance early in the second round of the PGA Championship. One is the contention that Hazeltine's length isn't as much a deterrent to players as wind.

And the other is the argument that Tiger Woods' presence atop the leaderboard only adds to the challenges facing his competition.

Well, yeah. Because with the morning rounds under way, the wind has kicked up enough to be a factor on scores. And as a result, no one has been able to make up ground on Woods.

More noteworthy, in fact, is the players who find themselves on the wrong side of the cut line (now projected at two-over, but likely to be higher if the wind persists). Among those in trouble: Steve Stricker, Anthony Kim, and most notably, Phil Mickelson.

Playing in his second event after an extended hiatus to tend to his wife and mother, Mickelson's day had started promising enough, with a birdie on his third hole, the par-4 12th. But he followed that up with a bogey on his fifth, and then another on his ninth, when he pushed his tee shot so far right that he let out a regretful "Oh dear," as he watched it sail toward the corporate tents (kind of a popular place with him). Mickelson would punch his second shot under a tree and to short of the green, but couldn't get up-and-down from there, and now is scrambling on the front nine just to make it into the weekend.

-- Sam Weinman