SAN DIEGO — Phil Mickelson managed his sore back well enough to make the cut. That doesn't mean he'll play on the weekend at the Farmers Insurance Open.
Mickelson fought his swing and back pain Friday on the tough South Course at Torrey Pines. He made a careless bogey from the fairway on the par-5 18th hole for a 1-over 73, leaving him eight shots behind Jordan Spieth.
The question was whether he would be back Saturday morning.
"I love this tournament and I want to play here. I love playing in San Diego and this is a place where I grew up playing, so I really want to play," Mickelson said. "And part of me also says that I'm getting in bad habits. And if I hit it in this rough here, I've really got an issue because I've got to swing awfully hard to get it out and it jars it. So I'm a little torn right now on the best plan of action."
Mickelson doesn't have a history of back problems. It began to bother him last week in Abu Dhabi, where he was a runner-up.
But even after treatment overnight, and some improvement, the pain returned and he said he was altering his swing to avoid his back hurting.
"The first tournament of the year and I'm always excited to start the year, but I also want to be smart because I'm getting into some bad habits so I've got to sort of weigh where I'm at. I'll see tonight. I would love to go out and at least give it a try early on and see if I can get a hot hand and maybe get something going, but I also want to be smart about this."
Mickelson is scheduled to play the Phoenix Open and AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am the next two weeks. He is the defending champion in Phoenix, and he is a five-time winner at Pebble Beach.
Mickelson is not planning to play at Riviera or Match Play because his children have spring break at two schools.
"I have the entire year. I've got majors coming up. I've got other tournaments coming up and I don't want to get in bad habits," Mickelson said. "My game is pretty sharp getting ready to start the year and I could tell I'm making terrible swings out there relative to the way I've been swinging."