Not a fantastic round, but a back-nine rally helps Mickelson stay in the hunt.
After a great score of 67 in the opening round of the 2010 Masters, Phil Mickelson took to the course hoping for a repeat performance. Fans and experts alike were asking, "Could he keep up his great play?"
Well, yes and no.
Round two wasn't as good to Phil as round one, but he bounced back from a difficult front nine to rally on the back nine for a decent day.
At the start of his round, Mickelson looked relaxed, comfortable, and confident. A lack of confidence is something that had concerned Lefty's fans due in part to his rough start to the season, and the stress of his wife and mother's medical conditions.
If yesterday's great round was able to put those fears aside, they returned after that rough front nine.
Taking his 1:42 PM EST tee time, Mickelson struggled a bit. After draining a birdie on three, Phil stumbled to bogey holes five and eight. Pars on the rest of the front nine gave him a score of one-over, 37 at the turn.
Not the day two start he or his fans were seeking.
On the back nine, he picked himself back up and played pretty well. Birdies on 13 and 17, and pars on all the other holes led to a one-under, 35 back nine. With this mini-rally, he was able to take a one-under, 71 into the clubhouse for round two.
A beautiful 30' putt on 18 was paced just a hair strong and bounced off the back side of the cup, but it was still a great putt that was read perfectly and nearly scored him a birdie to close.
This brings his two-day score to a six-under, 138 and puts him in a tie with Woods, Barnes, Choi, and Kim, just two shots behind leaders Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood.
Lefty hasn't struck the ball as well as he normally does at Augusta. He has made 16 of 27 fairways and 26 of 35 greens in regulation (according to masters.com). This suggests that these facets of his game still need some work.
A total of only 57 putts (1.63 strokes per green) would suggest that his putting is not up to his usual standards, but still better than most.
He recovered so well on the back nine that he should regain some of the confidence he may have lost during that troublesome front nine.
Overall, Friday was a decent day for the two-time Masters champion. His two days of work and a back-nine rally on Friday allowed him to comfortably make the cut, just two shots short of the lead.
With 36 holes to play, it seems as though Phil Mickelson is right where he needs to be to compete for the lead come Saturday.