Published: Wed, June 20, 2018
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Mickelson apologizes 4 days after deliberately violating golf rules at US Open

Mickelson apologizes 4 days after deliberately violating golf rules at US Open

It was a childish display from a five-time major victor celebrating his 48th birthday. "But toughen up, this was not meant that way".

With horrific pin placements and lightning-quick greens on a windy Long Island, big names who missed the 36-hole cut included top-10 players Jordan Spieth Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy and Australia's Jason Day, as well as three-time US Open victor Tiger Woods.

The simple question, what happened over at 13?

"It's meant to take advantage of the rules as best as you can". But it seems incapable of avoiding controversy when it comes to the U.S. Open, a tournament that once had the highest stature in golf but has I believe for most golf fans been eclipsed by the Masters and British Open (PGA Championship, don't even ask).

Playing partner Andrew Johnston called it "a moment of madness".

Many observers on Twitter were calling for Mickelson's disqualification. Again, I've never seen anything like it. It's just simply I just wanted to get on to the next hole and I didn't see that happening at the time.

The moment was one thing.

Azinger did not buy Mickelson's explanation of the incident.

If the former wasn't enough to get him kicked out of the Open, the latter should make everyone in golf take pause. Johnson has bogied five out of the nine holes he's played so far today.

Mickelson provoked widespread criticism with Sky Sports golf expert Rob Lee saying the situation was "ridiculous" and the American risked losing the respect of his fellow professionals.

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"I didn't feel like going back and forth", he said. His third shot put him within 58 feet of the hole.

As the fallout continued in the last few days, Mickelson clearly came to the realization that it wasn't amusing and felt compelled to tell the public what he was truly feeling at the time - even though it came four days late. The greens at Shinnecock Hills were rolling like they were made of glass. The 10 was the highest score on any hole at this U.S. Open, according to the USGA.

Worse yet, there was clearly some premeditation involved. Still, seeing Phil hit a moving ball like a four-year-old at a mini-golf course was shocking.

And he proudly pointed out that he took 11 drops at a tournament in 2006 before getting one he liked and went on to win the tournament.

Some say, "It's just Phil being Phil".

Phil Mickelson walks off the course after finishing the 18th hole.

When you play with fire, you are likely to get burnt, and Henrik Stenson had no sympathy for USGA boss Mike Davis on Saturday night. He hit his next shot 176 yards, leaving it 35 yards from the hole.

It was all smiles for Phil Mickelson on his birthday, amid the freakish scenes. But he shrugged off a suggestion that he did damage to his reputation as one of the game's most popular players.

Mickelson was having a miserable time before reaching 13.

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