Phil Mickelson pleased with Friday's 70

July, 18, 2014

HOYLAKE, England -- There was another shot out of play -- and he still made par -- as well as a birdie-eagle run that had Phil Mickelson thinking about getting back into the tournament.

He'll have to settle for making the cut and needing some help after a 2-under-par 70 at Royal Birkdale on Friday left him at 144, even par, and 5 strokes back of the leaders at the Open Championship.

"I played really well today, but there were a couple of loose shots," Mickelson said. "The drive on 10, the missed putt on 7 ended up costing me another one on 8. And I ended up giving 4 or 5 shots away, but I played really well. Shot 2 under. There was like a mental barrier to get it back to even par, so that putt on 18 was big."

Mickelson, who has failed to crack the top 10 on the PGA Tour this year and has not won since his victory a year ago at Muirfield, continues to say his game is close.

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Bob Harig | email

ESPN Senior Writer