Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy are the two biggest names in the Wells Fargo Championship field this week.
Mickelson is still looking for his first top-10 finish this year, and McIlroy has not won on the PGA Tour since 2012.
Mickelson was among the leaders after a first-round five-under par 67 left him in second place behind Angel Cabrera. A second-round three-over par 75 moved him 28 spots down the leaderboard to T-30 and seven shots behind the 36-hole joint leaders Cabrera and Martin Flores.
Mickelson found Quail Hollow challenging on Friday. Four pars, three bogeys and two birdies left him at one-over par for the front nine. Three more bogeys, including two on the "Green Mile" at Nos. 16 and 18 versus a lone birdie at No. 14 got him to two-over par on the back nine for a total of three-over par 75 for the round.
This is exactly the type of year Mickelson has experienced: A good round followed by a somewhat less than spectacular one. He has always been unpredictable, but his bad rounds have been taking him out of tournaments this year.
McIlroy was also among the leaders after the first round with a solid three-under par 69, but the second round proved to be another matter.
He fell 52 spots down the leaderboard on Friday with a four-over par 76 that left him at one-over par for 36 holes and T-59.
After a par at No. 1, McIlroy carded two double bogeys, two bogeys and one birdie over his next five holes. After six holes, he was five-over par for the round.
He managed to turn the back side in even par with one bogey and one birdie, but the damage was done, and he barely made the cut on the number at one-over par for the two days.
McIlroy has always been like the little girl with the curl. When he is good, he is very, very good, but when he is off, not so much.
Hopefully he will turn it around and post two solid rounds on the weekend and head to the Players Championship next week with positive vibes.
Mickelson is currently ranked No. 9 on the Ryder Cup points list, the last place that earns an automatic berth on the team. After his big win at the Open Championship last summer, much was expected of the World Golf Hall of Fame member.
Nagging injuries have disrupted his schedule, and he is showing the effects of age and battles with arthritis.
McIlroy has fallen from No. 1 to No. 11 on the Official World Golf Rankings. His last win came at the Australian Open in December, when he beat 2013 Masters Champion Adam Scott to spoil his homecoming tour.
If he doesn't win soon, he will fall even farther in the world rankings, as his 2012 wins will begin to fall off the rotation.
Mickelson and McIlroy are two of the most exciting players to watch on tour. With Tiger Woods on the bench, the PGA Tour needs them to be on the leaderboard every time they play.
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