For the first time in more than two decades of competition, there is now a major championship where both Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson have started the tournament and failed to make the cut. In total, Woods and Mickelson have played in 83 majors together and Friday at the 148th Open Championship became historic for the fact that the weekend action will not include two of the game’s best ever.
At this point in their respective careers, both players enter every major with a total awareness that these remaining opportunities are limited. It’s made for extra pressure, and it remains to be seen if that’s a good thing for performance on the course.
Woods and Mickelson have both been active on social media in the lead up to The Open with Woods posting 1 a.m. (ET) videos to brag about his body clock preparation and Mickelson showing off the results of his fasting efforts that were intended to “hit the reset button” after recent poor play. Now both are going to be headed home early with much more to consider as they try new preparation methods for the conclusion of the PGA Tour season.
While Woods and Mickelson carry their own weight in the golf world, no player’s effort to make the cut meant more to the fans at Royal Portrush than Rory McIlroy’s second round late Friday afternoon. The pride of Northern Ireland thrilled the crowd with a flurry of birdies during a round of 65 that tied for best of the first 36 holes to move him up to 2 over for the championship. Unfortunately, it was one stroke short of the cut line, which bounced between 1-over and 2-over during the waning hours of the second round before settling at 1-over par.
A quick rundown of the biggest names to miss the cut at the 148th Open Championship:
Jason Day (+2): Five straight bogeys on the back nine on Friday bounced Day down more than 50 spots on the leaderboard, leading to his first-ever missed cut at The Open.
Rory McIlroy (+2): The what-ifs of that quadruple bogey on the first hole are going to ring loud after McIlroy’s second-ever missed cut at The Open in 11 starts.
Gary Woodland (+3): Playing alongside McIlroy and Paul Casey, the reigning U.S. Open champion was fighting for the cut line late into Friday but fell short with bogeys at No. 14 and No. 17.
Zach Johnson (+4): The former Open champ gave us a highlight with his “fireside” chat on Mickelson’s social media account, but he couldn’t follow it up with a headline-stealing performance through 36 holes at Royal Portrush.
Bryson DeChambeau (+5): It’s worth questioning whether the mental grind of a major championship is the cause for Bryson’s struggles at these events. DeChambeau entered this week as the No. 6 player in the world, but he’s missed the cut in three of his last five major starts and never finished better than his T15 at the 2016 U.S. Open after turning pro.
Tiger Woods (+6): The 2019 season was always going to be a win after Tiger put on the green jacket at Augusta National, but the performance in majors since has been a cold shower for Tiger-mania.
Phil Mickelson (+8): While Mickelson had produced some of the all-time Open performances, it’s actually the major where he’s missed the cut the most. He won in 2013 and has finished as a runner-up twice, but other than that he’s got three missed cuts and no finishes better than T20 since 2010.