Phil Mickelson, Luke Donald and Hunter Mahan all delivered lackluster performances this weekend at the PGA Championship. The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island is undeniably difficult, and it owned these three players in the summer's final major.
While Rory McIlroy basks in his masterful 13-under display as the tournament's winner, these three disappointed players will head back to the drawing board. Their rounds weren't all bad, but failing to break par is never something a golfer wants to see.
Let's take a look at each player and how their tournament panned out.
Mickelson can't get out of his own way lately. Prior to the PGA Championship, he hadn't finished in the top 40 of a tournament since the Byron Nelson Championship on May 17.
He finally broke that streak this weekend, but he still only managed to finish tied for 36th at three-over par.
"Lefty" is struggling as much as he ever has. Not only has he failed to finish near the top of recent tournaments, but it was the same story at Greenbrier and The Open Championship. He seems to be fighting himself with every swing, and his lack of success has to be in his head at this point.
Mickelson's low round was a 71 in Round 2, but he wasn't able to find his stroke over the course of four days.
After finishing tied for fifth in The Open Championship, and eighth in the WGC-Bridgestone Classic, Donald should have finished higher in this tournament.
Instead, he finished tied for 32nd and two-over par. Donald's short game was below average, and he couldn't find any consistency because of it.
Donald did shoot a 66 in the final round on Sunday, but he didn't come close to that otherwise. If he had found that swing in the first three days, maybe he wouldn't be on here.
His situation is different than Lefty's. Donald has tasted success recently, but The Ocean Course's high level of difficulty was too much for him in this one.
My talks of the weekend in the intro are a little misleading for Mahan because he failed to make the cut. In the end, he finished tied for 85th at eight-over par.
This isn't that surprising. Mahan hasn't played well since AT&T National and The Travelers Championship in June. Even those were small highlights in a mostly rough year for this talented golfer.
Kiawah Island ate Mahan alive. He shot an 80 in Round 2, and that was the decisive blow to his weekend chances. He never seemed comfortable, and that led him to be cut.
Mahan is certainly talented, but he needs to work out the kinks in his approach game. He's pressing to score, and that's only making things worse on his score sheet.