The three biggest names in the Farmers Insurance Open had something in common at Torrey Pines Friday.
They all missed the cut.
Jason Day couldn’t beat the lingering effects of an illness that laid him out for nearly a week. Rickie Fowler couldn’t make any putts. And Phil Mickelson, he bogeyed the last three holes of his second round to miss the cut in his hometown event by one shot.
That doesn’t do much for the star power on the weekend when Gary Woodland and K.J. Choi will share a one-stroke lead over Dustin Johnson entering the third round.
For Day, the defending champion, just playing two rounds was a minor achievement. He got sick one week earlier and didn’t play for a week. The dull edge showed at Torrey Pines.
“It’s just one week. You can’t live and die by one week,” Day said.
“It’s not going to be the last cut I’m going to miss. Hopefully it is the last cut I’m going to miss this year, but once again it’s a process. I got to keep working hard and hopefully that delayed gratification is a lot more sweeter at the end of the year than it is right now.”
Five days after his win in Abu Dhabi, Fowler was heading out on a Friday afternoon after missing the cut by one stroke.
“I didn’t have my best the last two days. Really the big difference is nothing would go in on the greens,” Fowler said.
Then there was Mickelson, who was 4-under par early in the second round but made a mess of things coming in. Before the tournament Mickelson talked optimistically about how close he felt to having a breakout week after the work he’s put in with new coach Andrew Getson. Instead, he got the weekend off.
“I don’t have a good explanation,” Mickelson said. “I had a good round going, I was 1-under par and had some birdie holes coming up and I don’t know, it just kind of slipped, I wasn’t really mentally as sharp as I need to be.
“But it happens. I’m not overly concerned about it. I’ll just kind of play it off and move on to Phoenix and keep working on what I’m working on.”