Late Friday night, Phil Mickelson decided the back injury he suffered during the first round of the Farmers Insurance Open was doing to be too much to overcome.
Mickelson, the most successful San Diego native in golf history, withdrew from the tournament at Torrey Pines. Phil shot a 1-over 73 on the South course on Friday. Immediately after the round he was uncertain just what he was going to do.
"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 into 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."
Mickelson draws huge galleries to Torrey Pines. He is one of the most popular players on Tour, a responsibility he takes seriously. After his media session Mickelson, even in pain, spent several minutes signing autographs.
"I love this tournament and I want to play here," said Mickelson. "I love playing in San Diego, and this is a place where I grew up playing, so I really want to play. 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."
The 43-year-old will meet with doctors to diagnose exactly what is wrong with his back (the pain is located in his lower back, an area he says he's never had trouble with). He is scheduled to defend his title in Phoenix next week.