Having suffered a nightmare start at The Country Club on Thursday – an eight-over 78 marring Mickelson’s 52nd birthday – the six-time major winner improved on Friday’s second round to card a three-over 73.
However, with only the top 60 players and ties progressing to the weekend, Mickelson’s 11-over par total meant his quest for an elusive US Open victory – the only major he is yet to win – continues. His fifth time missing the cut at the event, it ties his fifth-highest career score relative to par after two rounds at a major, according to ESPN Stats and Info.
The American’s outing in Brookline was the first in his home country since January, following a four-month hiatus from the sport that ended with his headliner appearance at the LIV Golf series’ debut event in London last week.
Backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) and pledging to award huge sums of prize money, the breakaway tour has generated huge controversy for threatening to upset golf’s traditional format.
However, cheers for the 52-year-old continued throughout his two rounds at The Country Club, with Mickelson quick to praise the Boston atmosphere.
“The fans here have always been terrific,” Mickelson told reporters. “They really support all sports.
“I love it when we bring golf here because they create a really special atmosphere.”
“I missed competing, but I also enjoyed some time away,” he added.
After making an eye-watering start to the first round, with three bogeys and a double bogey leaving him five-over after six holes, Mickelson began markedly better on Friday. Consecutive birdies on the fifth and sixth helped him to one-under at the same stage.
His improvement was dampened when his errant shot from the third tee struck a spectator, with Mickelson attending to the fan and gifting him his golf glove before making par.
Three bogeys through the back nine dropped Mickelson’s score, but the consolation of improving five strokes from the previous round meant he could reflect on a “good day.”
“I enjoyed the week. Wish I had played better,” Mickelson said.