Scores rose quickly at Winged Foot during the second round of the 2020 U.S. Open, but unfortunately for Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, they could not take advantage of a field that took several steps back. For the first time ever — over the 21 U.S. Opens the two have played since 1996 — both will miss the cut at the same U.S. Open.
Mickelson actually played better than a field average that swelled near 75 in Round 2, but his 79-74 left him 13 over and exiting on Friday evening at potentially the last U.S. Open of his career. Though the round is not officially over, the cut will likely land at 6 over. Mickelson will miss that mark by seven shots. The oft-tortured, six-time runner up barely squeezed into the field this year and might not qualify in 2021 at Torrey Pines. If he’s done, it’s an unceremonious exit.
“I enjoyed the week, and I enjoyed the challenge that this golf course provides,” said Mickelson. “I think it’s always one of the hardest tests that we play but one of the most fun challenges because … gosh, the character of the course all throughout, from shot-making to putting and short game. I think it’s a terrific place to play golf and I’m appreciative of the opportunity to have been able to compete here. I’m disappointed I didn’t play better.”
Mickelson’s primary foil throughout his career has been Woods, who has three of the trophies Mickelson has been trying to earn for the last three decades. He, too, did not have his best stuff this week and followed his 73 on Thursday with a two-birdie 77 on Friday. Nothing went right for him this week, and a game that has been short of sharp since he restarted in July at the Memorial Tournament was exposed by mighty Winged Foot in pretty much every facet of the game.
“Physically, it was frustrating that I didn’t drive the ball as well as I needed to,” said Woods. “Iron play was pretty much the way it has been. It’s been good, and I finally putted well. But on this golf course, it’s imperative that you hit fairways, and I did not do that.”
Shortcomings are always exacerbated at majors (and especially at U.S. Opens), and Tiger never got anything going over his 36 holes on this course. This is just the fourth missed cut of his career at a U.S. Open. Somewhat incredibly, two of them have come at Winged Foot.
“It’s frustrating that I’m not going to be here for the weekend and be able to compete for this great championship,” said Woods. “It feels like the way the golf course is changing, is turning, that anybody who makes the cut has the opportunity to win this championship. I didn’t get myself that opportunity.”
These two legends were far from the only big names to miss the cut this week, though, as several stars will find themselves doing what we’re all doing this weekend, watching the event on television. Here’s a look at who will be heading home on Friday evening (or Saturday morning).
2020 U.S. Open: Notable missed cuts
- Collin Morikawa: 76-71 (+7)
- Tommy Fleetwood: 74-74 (+8)
- Gary Woodland: 74-74 (+8)
- Justin Rose: 73-77 (+10)
- Tiger Woods: 73-77 (+10)
- Henrik Stenson: 74-77 (+11)
- Tyrrell Hatton: 74-78 (+12)
- Phil Mickelson: 79-74 (+13)
- Jordan Spieth: 73-81 (+14)
- Sergio Garcia: 74-81 (+15)