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Hot takes on Phil Mickelson’s Saturday antics continue to fly

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Yesterday, Phil Mickelson played a bit of field hockey on Shinnecock’s 13th green that continues to be the talk of the golf world… Mickelson didn’t do much to quiet the murmurs with his refusal to talk to the media following his final round and his celebratory antics after a made putt at that hole, Sunday.

Regarding the left-hander’s violation of Rule 14-5, we have a thread that’s 18 pages long and 516 replies deep at the time of this writing. It spans the full spectrum of opinions, from staunch support for Phil to outright condemnation.

A poll among golf WRXers saw 41 percent of responders say Mickelson should have been disqualified. 49 percent said he shouldn’t have. 9 percent said Mickelson should withdraw.

MtlJeff had this take

“Imagine if a young player did it. We’d be ready to euthanize all millennials for their horrible tantrums.”

Ssfranny said

“I have to kinda think Phil just gave a big middle finger to the USGA and pin placements.”

Teetogreen

“Frustrated as he may have been, he’s no better than the field. Everyone has to play the same course. I know Phil’s a fan-favorite, but that was wrong and disgraceful.”

Nessism said

“Pure frustration. I feel sorry for him. A momentary lapse of awareness will now cost him endless scritany for years to come.”

Golfgirlrobin quickly perceived what would be Mickelson’s eventual explanation

“Or maybe brilliant. Ball goes all the way down the green into the fairway and taking the penalty might actually have ended up being the better play.”

HolyMoses said

“Phil said he hit the moving ball intentionally so it wouldn’t get behind the bunker again. If he’s that defiant, he should be DQ’d. That’s cheating, plain and simple.”

Moving from WRXers’ takes to a few from other realms.

On Twitter, Lee Westwood played the devil’s advocate with this slippery slope (appropriately) argument.

“Here’s a scenario…Thoughts everyone??? here you go….. over the back on 15 at Augusta. Chip it too hard, run over before it gets to the water and knock it on the green so you don’t have to hit it again or go the drop zone!”

Writer Alan Bastable introduced the specter of Rule 1-2.

“Meanwhile, just two years after the DJ rules fiasco at Oakmont, the USGA blue coats were left to explain to the world why Mickelson hadn’t been disqualified for such an egregious breach of the rules. Indeed, under Rule 1-2, the Committee could have deemed that Mickelson’s actions gave him “a significant advantage,” and therefore warranted a DQ. “I would have lobbied for disqualification,” former USGA executive director David Fay said on the Fox telecast.”

The portion of Rule 1-2 Bastable referenced states.

“A player is deemed to have committed a serious breach of Rule 1-2 if the Committee considers that the action taken in breach of this Rule has allowed him or another player to gain a significant advantage or has placed another player, other than his partner, at a significant disadvantage.”

Golf Channel’s Randall Mell discussed Mickelson’s communication with Mike Davis late Saturday after some scribes floated the idea that the golfer ought to be disqualified.

“Phil really did want to understand how the rule operates,” Davis said. “Frankly, as he said to me, `Mike, I don’t want to play in this championship if I should have been disqualified.’” Davis said he assured Mickelson that Rule 14-5 was correctly applied, and that a two-stroke penalty is all that was required.”

With respect to the claims that Mickelson ought to withdraw, ESPN’s Ian O’Connor wrote this.

“There was a problem with Lefty’s story — a fairly big one. His playing partner, Andrew “Beef” Johnston, said he told Mickelson, “Sorry, but I can’t help but laugh at that. It’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.” Johnston also had this to say of his exchange with Mickelson: “He said, ‘I don’t know what that is. I don’t know what score that is or what happens now.’ And he started speaking to the rules official. It was one strange moment.”

“The standard-bearer with the group, Connor Buff, a 19-year-old from Smithtown and a student at the University at Albany, said he heard Mickelson tell the rules official, “Whatever I get, I get. Just let me know what it is.”

In other words, according to O’Connor Mickelson was both attempting to gain advantage and, for what it’s worth, lying about his thoughts during the field hockey moment.

And of course, Global Golf Post’s John Hopkins.

Amy Mickelson told Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols

“He has been pretty under fire,” she said. “A lot of people have been pretty rough. … . It’s not like we’re in his shoes and understand what he has gone through. You and me, we are looking at it from the outside, sitting in the press room or family dining. … They’re playing sports for a living, but still in the moment it’s a very heavy week, an intense week. A lot happens over the course of 24 hours every day.

Golf Digest’s Joel Beall wrote this about Mickelson’s mock celebration at the 13th, Sunday. He could just as well have written it Mickelson’s explanation and the whole ordeal

“His critics would call it the act of a charlatan. His fans would say he was being an entertainer. Part of the Phil Mickelson Experience is not knowing which is right.”

What do you think, GolfWRX members? Is there more to be said about the matter? Or, with the U.S. Open wrapped up, should be draw the curtain on all this as well? Do any other takes merit mention?

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68 Comments

68 Comments

  1. Jim

    Jun 21, 2018 at 12:51 am

    Too busy to look at the payout list. Most likely those below Phil have decent sponsors & 10-12K probably doesn’t make a life n death difference UNLESS they’re really in danger of not finishing the next three months above the cut-off list…

    But knowing the man, if there was a Joe-the-fireman/wannabe tour player who worked his way through qualifying and that money meant 4 more entry fees or the difference of sleeping in his car – or a decent dinner & hotel before the next event, Phil would cut him a check in a second for that amount….

    Also agree with previous comment – a bit….Knock it back n forth 20+ times and back up the next 4 groups to highlight USGA’S INCOMPETENCE IN AGRONOMY, WEATHER ANALYSIS & PIN PLACEMENTS

  2. Bob Parson Jr.

    Jun 19, 2018 at 8:49 pm

    He’s welcome at PXG!

  3. Sideshow Rob

    Jun 19, 2018 at 11:39 am

    I do like that Phil shone the spotlight on the USGA and it’s ridiculous green setups but perhaps he should have protested differently. If it was me I would have let the ball go down and off the green, chip it above the hole and putt it off the green again. Repeat 20 times and back up the entire golf course. Then sign for a 44 and when the media asks you how in earth you took a 44 on a hole just tell them it’s because you lipped out your putt for 43. Mission accomplished.

  4. Jim

    Jun 19, 2018 at 11:17 am

    Rules can be abused to help…I remember (OMeara?) having a shot from far enough over in the rough that was slightly obstructed by some new trees that were recently planted. They were new enough that a couple still had the wires & stakes in the ground keeping them growing straight. The player HAD an unobstructed backswing & even follow through, but decided to tell the rules official he “intended to play the shot KNEELING on both knees”. There was NO reason to do so – EXCEPT that by kneeling the backswing plane would now strike one of the guide- wires of the tree….IT WAS TOTAL BS, but he got his 2 driver lengths from the man made obstruction and a straight path to the green.

    Everyone thought Payne Stewart was ‘genius’ when he did it – to deliberately take the 2 strokes for stopping the ball right up by the hole on 18 @ Olympic thus preventing it from rolling back down – probably 100′ off the green

  5. Tom54

    Jun 18, 2018 at 8:12 pm

    Phil could have just said he got really frustrated and his emotions took over his sound judgment but no he chose to come up with some lame reasoning that he was just using the rules to help him in that situation That is hogwash I believe. If he would have sincerely apologized to the fans and the USGA all would have probably been forgotten and forgiven. Phil thinks he’s smarter than the average Joe but his actions sure spoke otherwise in my opinion. This interpretation of this rule will surely be reviewed and probably changed in the future. Also a DQ should have been in order too.

    • Hartley Burt

      Jun 19, 2018 at 8:35 pm

      I agree 100% with your post. If he had just apologized, I could have easily forgiven him because we’ve all wanted to do that at times. But he clearly lied (see Beef Johnston’s comments vs. Phil’s after the round), which as always makes things much worse.

  6. Jack Nash

    Jun 18, 2018 at 5:44 pm

    Who cares? He took the applicable penalty. Before he struck the putt he was +10. Ummmm, he’s kinda out of it. No DQ, no withdral, no problem.

  7. Jim

    Jun 18, 2018 at 4:35 pm

    Still – NOBODY HERE remembers Payne Stewart running up and stopping his ball on 18 at Olympic in ’98?

    Another USGA masterpiece job of making the greens STOOPID. A straight uphill putt to a ridiculous pin placement on a heavily sloped and over-hardened slick green. The ball died out by the hole, but it was impossible for it to just stop. It would’ve rolled all the way (past him) down off the green – maybe 25x the distance he putted from.

    Should have a clown’s mouth around MANY USGA pins

  8. Bob Sarvis

    Jun 18, 2018 at 4:09 pm

    Mickelson should have been disqualified by the USGA, plain and simple. And when he wasn’t, he should have withdrawn. Almost every other player in the event had balls roll off greens or down slopes due to the conditions. None of them did what Michelson did.

    • ~j~

      Jun 18, 2018 at 8:23 pm

      And if they had?

      2 stroke penalty and move on. That’s what everyone actually INVOLVED agreed upon, so anything else is purely woulda, coulda, and shoulda.

  9. Greg

    Jun 18, 2018 at 4:08 pm

    When we average amateurs break a rule, we say, “it’s not like we’re playing on the PGA”. So, it’s not a big deal. However, this IS the PGA and I’ve seen much less willful rule breaking on the PGA that has cost much more than Phil’s deliberate action. The difference is a willful act verses an unintentional act. The rule is for the unintentional.

    The bottom line, if you’re a fan favorite, you can expect the rules to be bent in your favor. Remember Tiger’s knowingly willful dropping to a more advantageous spot in Augusta? 2 strokes there too.

  10. Matt

    Jun 18, 2018 at 2:40 pm

    I think it’s ok he did that. He was basically in last place and just wanting to speed up play. It’s the rest of the pros whining enough for them to slow down the greens. Those ones I can’t handle extra rich whiny brats. The greens are to fast for me, I’m telling my mommy. Shut up already pros you make more in 1 tournament then the majority of the world makes in there life. Every pro complainer should be fined, complaining doesn’t make them very pro.

    • Ron

      Jun 18, 2018 at 3:30 pm

      You sound like you are about 12 years old. The pro who comes in last place in a tournament makes $0. If you make the cut and finish last (out of the cut players), you only made about $23,000. Are you telling me $23,000 is more than most people make in their life? Educate yourself, and until then stop speaking.

  11. kdevli

    Jun 18, 2018 at 2:24 pm

    What he should have done was WD from Sunday’s round. He should have said, “I violated the spirit of the game and have decided to WD”. He would have set a great example of owning his mistake and protecting the game. He knows better, or at least I thought he did. I don’t care what it will do to Phil, I care what it will do to the game. Sad day for sportsmanship in golf.

    • John K

      Jun 18, 2018 at 5:11 pm

      Amen! It shows a lack of character in my opinion!

      • ~j~

        Jun 18, 2018 at 8:26 pm

        I dunno about that, looked to me like A LOT of character by doing what he did. Shows a lack of character on those crying about the results still like someone spilt milk on your favorite blankie.

        • Hartley Burt

          Jun 20, 2018 at 12:33 am

          Intentionally breaking the rules does not show a lot of character, ~j~. No one is crying. True golfers just don’t like to see a player violate the spirit of the game.

  12. Steve

    Jun 18, 2018 at 1:43 pm

    Make an honest mistake and fail to exchange scorecards and you get disqualified despite the whole world being able to see what you scored. Cheat blatantly and unrepentantly and get a two stroke penalty. Whatever happened to equity?

    I really believe that the root cause of this was the lottery that the USGA called a course set-up for the first three days. The difference between birdie and double bogey on some holes was a six inch difference in landing area. That makes it a game of chance not a game of skill. No wonder players got frustrated.

    I therefore understand and sympathise with what he did. Nonetheless he brought he game into disrepute. Disqualify him and move on.

  13. Jim Giles

    Jun 18, 2018 at 1:40 pm

    One different take. There were 16 golfers I believed who finished BELOW him. Of them except for maybe 2 or 3, every single dollar in earnings counts towards keeping their card and ability to make a living on the PGA Tour. Something, money that is, Phil worries nothing about. He cost potentially every one of them dollars that “could” come back and haunt them at the end of the year. His flippant disregard in the moment, could have significant consequences to a few other of his “brethren”…. check back at the end of the year and see if everyone is still laughing. Phil will still be cashing paychecks regardless. I like Phil, good for the game, but that reaction should have had consequences.

    • ~j~

      Jun 18, 2018 at 8:37 pm

      It did. 2-stroke penalty.

      Now think of all those he WOULD have finished ahead of had he NOT swatted the ball. THEY earned MORE money because of him.

  14. tony dewerth

    Jun 18, 2018 at 1:38 pm

    he should have been out, plain and simple, and anyone with respect for the game and its honest aspects should have withdrawn……frankly, I am betting that right now he very much wishes he had done that instead of dreaming up some cock and bull story about “using” the rules.

    • ~j~

      Jun 18, 2018 at 8:42 pm

      I’m betting when he checked his bank account today he didn’t think twice about the extra 5-6 figures he received.

  15. Tom Buggy

    Jun 18, 2018 at 1:04 pm

    This is really simple. It has little to do with Rule whatever. It has everything to do with a rule that isn’t there, despite the USGA’s tome-like rule book.

    Ask yourself: Is deliberately breaking arupe in the spirit of the game? If the answer is No, then a DQ should be automatic.

    • Art Williams

      Jun 18, 2018 at 1:43 pm

      Relax. It is what it is. It’s Phil being Phil and in a year or two it will be remembered more than who won the Open. I’m a big fan and I wish he hadn’t done it but he did. He offered a withdrawal but the USGA said not needed as the 2 strokes covered the deed. It’s just a game, move on. Believe me this will be folklore eventually. And remember, it’s not cheating if it’s covered under the rules. Could you imagine if he won by a stroke?

      • Hartley Burt

        Jun 20, 2018 at 12:40 am

        Amy let us know about Phil’s offer to withdraw. She said it wasn’t his finest moment. If Phil had said that after the round, I wouldn’t have as much of a problem with it. But at least he eventually offered.

        I think rule 14-5 needs to change. Hard to imagine a scenario where this rule would be broken accidentally. Any time a rule is broken intentionally, I think the player should be disqualified.

  16. Jim

    Jun 18, 2018 at 12:48 pm

    So NO ONE REMEMBERS PAYNE STEWART DOING IT AT OLYMPIC – WHEN THEY SCALPED THE GREENS TOO SHORT & HIS UP HILL PUTT DIED OUT AT THE HOLE & THEN STARTED ROLLING BACK DOWN? IT WOULD’VE GONE ALL THE WAY DOWN & OFF THE RIDICULOUSLY SLICK GREEN.

    HE RAN UP & STOPPED IT- THEN KNOCKED IT IN. TOOK THE 2 STROKES. NO SOCIAL MEDIA PEANUT GALLERY BACK THEN.

  17. Robert Fred

    Jun 18, 2018 at 12:41 pm

    please dont forget he could have declared the ball unplayable and taken the putt again with a one shot penalty , definitely not cheating just very angry reaction, leave phil alone , what about all the drops for advantage or deliberately hitting the ball in the stands is that ok?

  18. Ike

    Jun 18, 2018 at 12:33 pm

    One word as deserved and as the rule is written on the first page, DQ.

    • ~j~

      Jun 18, 2018 at 12:53 pm

      Write USGA and let them know of their error. I’m sure they’ll have interest in your opinion.

  19. Marnix

    Jun 18, 2018 at 12:29 pm

    What if Tiger on that first hole had run op the hill to the green and stopped his ball from rolling down once more by hitting it just as it rolled off the green? What if he had actually sunk it by doing that?

    The internet would have been too small to contain the furor …

  20. PattyG

    Jun 18, 2018 at 12:21 pm

    I have ZERO problem with what Phil did. He broke a rule and was accessed a 2-stroke penalty. He should not have been DQ’d, should not have WD’d. It’s not like he was even close to being in contention at that point. All these keyboard warriors are trying to sound like they’ve never broken a single rule or used the ole “foot wedge” before. Get over yourselves.
    As for Phil’s legacy… this does nothing to it. For me, it makes me like him even more. All these goofy people talking about “this is all Phil will be remembered for for the next 100 years,” or folks like Chamblee, who act as if they are golf royalty, just go ahead and get off it – you sound like fools.

    • Ron

      Jun 18, 2018 at 12:24 pm

      Using a foot wedge when you shoot 100 at your local muni track is different than Phil’s actions which undoubtedly has a few thousand dollars on the line depending on final standings.

    • Harry Adam

      Jun 18, 2018 at 12:32 pm

      Well, the man is not hard up. But others are less affluent, and if he had been DQ’d (which I think was the correct ruling) someone less affluent would have been paid more.

  21. BillM

    Jun 18, 2018 at 12:21 pm

    I’ve been tempted to do what he did many times. The announcers hyped it up….so what?, he got the correct penalty. This isn’t an earth shattering incident.

  22. Tom Wishon

    Jun 18, 2018 at 12:21 pm

    This most certainly is one that needs to fade away. In truth, since the USGA seems to repeatedly display poor judgment in the set up of the US Open venue (and equipment rule creation) then players have the right to express their opinion of that in anyway they wish, within the rules. If the USGA is going to create conditions that penalize well hit shots, then the players have a right to express their opinions. Since the USGA cannot confirm or legislate Phil’s intent, since his actions caused no delay in the tournament, he takes the stroke of hitting the moving ball + 2 more and that’s that.

    In truth, the PGA Tour needs to take over ALL tournaments in which pros play for money, yes including our national open, as well as the rules of the game for money events. Leave the USGA to handling handicaps and amateur competitions. When an obsession with par being the winning score leads to REPEATED mistakes in course set up, not to mention repeated mistakes in legislating the rules pertaining to equipment, the job of running our national open should be taken away from them.

    But of course you can’t do that because as one USGA high official told me some years ago when I questioned one of their actions, “Oh Tom, you know the USGA is not a democracy, we see ourselves as the benevolent dictators of the game.” True story, the quote was from Dick Rugge, former Tech Director of the USGA. So you can’t vote out the hawks as every position is self perpetuated within the USGA heirarchy. At least if we don’t like the way our country or states are being run we do have a chance to elect new leadership to try to make it better.

    PGA pros, boycott the US Open and then bring in the PGA Tour to create and run a national open. . . . . Then let the elitists continue to run the amateur events.

    OK, rip me to pieces.

    • Commoner

      Jun 19, 2018 at 2:37 pm

      Great post! USGA, for the last several years, has reminded me of the old phrase about ‘power corrupting.’ What is maddening though in the case of the USGA is that incompetence, arrogance, and pathological smugness accompany that corruption.

  23. Chris Carpenter

    Jun 18, 2018 at 12:12 pm

    I get both sides – a rule use that was technically okay, but [very] poorly executed. I have picked up a ball and moved it to improve my lie via the unplayable lie rule and taken a penalty to avoid chopping broccoli and hurting myself. Picking up a ball in play and just moving it is poor form, but most folks are familiar with unplayable lie and, AND, I announce my intention and penalty BEFORE I do it.

    I think most folks who saw it were more surprised by it than anything. “Pulling a Phil” to stop a ball from trickling into the water or something would be legal, penalized, and equally dodgy. I do think that the short list of weekenders who finished behind his high number will likely feel a bit cheated / jaded to say the least.

    • ~j~

      Jun 18, 2018 at 12:21 pm

      I’m thinking if anyone feels jaded right now it’s Sergio. He shot himself out of the Masters on one incredibly ridicules chip shot (which he was forced to make multiple times w/penalty).

  24. Andrew Stewart

    Jun 18, 2018 at 12:11 pm

    A temper tantrum – thats all it was,and he should be ashamed. IThe most fundamental principle of golf is that you hit your next dhot from where you hit your last shot and he violated that most basic principle. Mickelson is a baby regardless of his athletic skill. Horrible example for younger players. Whats worse is that is he doesn’t own up to his own immaturity. As usual, the “cover up”, so to speak,is worse than the crime.

  25. Nigel

    Jun 18, 2018 at 12:06 pm

    It’s within the rules to break a rule and take the penalty. We do it every time we “take unplayable.” No one was up in arms when Tiger moved that boulder, ok, well almost no one. If you’re willing to take the consequences, break the rule.

    Would it have been better if he’d have stopped the ball then hit it?

    • Ron

      Jun 18, 2018 at 12:22 pm

      But that wasn’t the case here because the inconsistency in his remarks. On the green he had no idea what the penalty was. Then later he comes out and says he was just using the rules to his advantage.

      • Dixie doc

        Jun 18, 2018 at 1:21 pm

        He had time to formulate an excuse for the fans and media. This is not a foot wedge at your local course but the US Open. He should have been DQ’d for the prank, which is what it was, or should have withdrawn if he didn’t want to play like everyone else. In other words, Phil should have taken his ball and gone home.

        • ~j~

          Jun 18, 2018 at 1:26 pm

          ‘should have’ in your own little opinion. Under NO OBLIGATION to is the point though. If Phil decides to bomb one off the course at Tiger’s “Privacy”, by all means let him do so. Give him the penalty and move on.

          ZERO reason he should have WD and as the USGA already RULED, a DQ was not needed.

  26. ~j~

    Jun 18, 2018 at 10:38 am

    The gimmicky greens at ‘Shinny’ were just about as much a black eye for the sport as the grotesque over-critiquing of Phil’s swat at the moving ball. While I’m sure all of you 20+ hanidcap, armchair analyst, have nothing better to do than offer your flagrent anger at anything you disapprove of, your over the top sentiment does more to damage the game than help it.

    When you get to the US Open and play US Open conditions, then I’ll take notice of your opinions, until then you’ree doing little more than waste your time and clutter our great golf site with you pompous opinions.

    • Guster

      Jun 18, 2018 at 11:45 am

      So you are a Tour Pro and therefore qualified to oppose other people’s opinions?

      • ~j~

        Jun 18, 2018 at 12:15 pm

        No no little guster, the ill-point your trying to make is are YOU, or the other flaming-hot rule-conversing word slingers qualified enough to infringe YOUR belief on the rules or on Phil?

        My case has already won. 2-stroke penalty and move on. Inhospitable and lonely people such as yourselves though want to scour and burn the Earth to make your unhappiness (and unqualified voices) are heard though.

        • Curt

          Jun 18, 2018 at 1:56 pm

          Your point is ridiculous. None of the other tour players that were playing the exact same course in the exact same conditions did NOT cheat, as Phil did. I won’t even dignify the rest of your psychobabble.

          • Dale Doback

            Jun 19, 2018 at 9:40 pm

            I think your argument is ridiculous because Phil did not cheat. There is no argument you could present that can prove Phil should have been disqualified. I’m sorry you cannot stomach the outcome.

  27. Morten Kristensen

    Jun 18, 2018 at 3:15 am

    1-2 is not in play guys. Stop talking about it. 1-2 itself states that 14-5 takes over as that expressly deals with Stroke on a moving ball.

    They SHOULD have used 33-7. Breach of etiquette – for deliberately violating 14-5.

    • Ron

      Jun 18, 2018 at 12:19 pm

      Help me understand why 14-5 was applied and not 1-2. Rule 14-5 is for playing a moving ball, yes. The decisions and situations seem to indicate these are situations where the ball may be oscillating, or moving in water, or moves during backswing. Basically situations that are unintentional. Directly in Rule 14-5 it refers you to Rule 1-2 for situations when a ball was purposely struck wile moving: (Ball purposely deflected or stopped by player, partner or caddie – see Rule 1-2). So why wasn’t 1-2 applicable??

      • Brendon Hough

        Jun 19, 2018 at 9:48 pm

        1-2 doesn’t apply because of the exception in the rule which states if there is another rule that applies that rule takes precedence which is 14-5 which convers a stroke made on a moving ball. The reason there was not a serious breach is because had Phil used rule 28 and declared the ball unplayable after it stopped rolling then he would have taken a 1 stroke penalty and had the same putt saving 2 strokes that he had to take by hitting the ball. Only other argument left is he violated the spirit of the game but that is opinion and therefore not a rule so rule 14-5 stands and the USGA got it right. This was weird to see in a tournament which means it’s time to update and simplify the rules.

  28. Bill Jordan

    Jun 18, 2018 at 12:03 am

    Rather funny to watch, but from what I’m reading of rule 1-2, the committee ‘MAY’ invoke disqualification for serious breech of the rule. So, even if the breech was determined to be ‘serious,’ there is no requirement for DQ.

    But I imagine if players start regularly sprinting after putts because they feel 2 strokes is a better option than where the ball might end up, there will be more specific wording applied to the rule. I’m not sure it was ever imagined that a player might violate the rule quite as egregiously as Phil did. He was obviously quite frustrated with conditions.

    • Geohogan

      Jun 18, 2018 at 9:59 am

      I’m not sure it was ever imagined that a player might violate the rule quite as egregiously as Phil did.”

      google: If extraordinary in some bad way; glaring; flagrant: an egregious mistake; an egregious liar.

      If egregious is not “serious” , what is?

  29. Richard Douglas

    Jun 17, 2018 at 10:46 pm

    The game is largely self-regulated. However, events like the US Open are heavily regulated by rules officials. Should Phil have been DQ’d? Perhaps. He said he was willing to accept whatever they decided. So he did.

    You can’t criticize Phil for a decision made by the USGA. You might not like what he did, but he isn’t the first player to intentionally break a rule. And that’s what it was: a break of a rule. It wasn’t cheating.

    • Guster

      Jun 18, 2018 at 11:50 am

      I think breaking a rule to gain an unfair advantage is , in fact, cheating.

    • Hartley Burt

      Jun 20, 2018 at 1:00 am

      Intentionally breaking a rule is a pretty good definition of cheating.

  30. Geohogan

    Jun 17, 2018 at 8:43 pm

    Johnston also had this to say of his exchange with Mickelson: “He said, ‘I don’t know what that is. I don’t know what score that is or what happens now.’ And he started speaking to the rules official. It was one strange moment.”

    Interviewed after his round, Phil said he knew the two stroke penalty would apply and he chose that rather than bat the ball around from where it may have ended up had he not stroked it while it was moving. That doesnt fit with what his playing partner Johnston quoted him as saying.

    So did Phil lie about knowing the rule he chose to break to Johnston? or to the interviewer?

    Whichever applies, this entire episode confirms this Hall of Famers integrity is in question, once again.

    • Hartley Burt

      Jun 20, 2018 at 1:04 am

      Good point. Phil definitely lied and almost certainly to the interviewer. That’s the most disappointing part. Can’t blame him too much for losing his temper and acting on it. We’ve all done that. And I’m glad he offered to withdraw. That was the right thing to do. But he should have told the truth from the beginning and simply apologized.

  31. TJRussell

    Jun 17, 2018 at 8:29 pm

    He broke 1-2 prior to breaking 14-5. He should have been disqualified pure and simple. The USGA should have done their job. Mickelson should have withdrawn regardless of what the USGA told him. The USGA will now need to write new rules to avoid situations like this in the future. Mickelson had a moment of temporary insanity but the USGA ultimately didn’t fulfill their mandate to protect the integrity of the game.

    • Bob J.

      Jun 18, 2018 at 2:14 am

      You are forgetting the exception under 1-2 which the USGA based their decision off of giving them full confidence to use 14-5. In action expressly permitted or expressly prohibited by another Rule is subject to that other Rule, not Rule 1-2.

      The action was he simply hit a moving ball which is in its entirety covered under 14-5 so that rule takes precedence.

      As for my opinion he operated within the rules of the game but not the spirit of the game. The problem lies in the rules that need to be changed and or updated. Some rules are just to vague or left open to interpretation.

  32. Dave Ott

    Jun 17, 2018 at 7:37 pm

    Why would he be dq’d when there is a rule for hitting a moving ball and he got the penalty. Done and dusted. Let it go..LET IT GO!!!

  33. Geohogan

    Jun 17, 2018 at 7:19 pm

    On Twitter, Lee Westwood played the devil’s advocate with this slippery slope (appropriately) argument.

    “Here’s a scenario…Thoughts everyone??? here you go….. over the back on 15 at Augusta. Chip it too hard, run over before it gets to the water and knock it on the green so you don’t have to hit it again or go the drop zone!”

    over the back in two on par 5;and with the stroke to knock it on the green while the ball is still moving, the ball happens to go in the hole.. nice bogey? The USGA has just made a mockery with rule 14-5. is there a year that goes by the USGA doesnt demonstrate disservice to the game of golf?.. “drain the swamp!”

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19th Hole

Kyle Thompson films man taking his dumped Staff bags, then finds them listed on Craigslist

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Earlier in the week, PGA Tour professional Kyle Thompson put three old Srixon golf bags (that he has since stressed “were in bad shape”) out with the garbage.

What the 39-year-old wasn’t expecting, however, was for someone to come by and snag the items from his trash. That’s precisely what happened however, and Thompson managed to capture the incident, which he then uploaded to his Instagram account (second slide):

The bag burglar displayed some smooth moves as he tiptoed his way across Thompson’s driveway before snagging the items and hopping back into his truck and driving off for a clean getaway.

Thompson then turned investigator, found the items listed on Craigslist, which the seller, who he christened “Cowboy,” had priced at $175.

If that wasn’t enough, the clubs were also spotted on eBay where the items were unashamedly listed as a “Kyle Thompson model,” and the seller, who was clearly struggling to move the bags, had dropped his asking price down to $100.

As for Thompson, he appeared to find the entire episode amusing, even praising his man “Cowboy” for his ingenuity.

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The 7 best #GolfWRX photos on Instagram today: 9/20/18

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If you’re on Instagram, you’re hopefully aware that we are ‘gramming it up as well (@golfwrx). And if you’re not following us, well, that hurts our feelings more than a three-putt bogey.

Even if you do follow WRX on Instagram, however, you may not be aware that an abundance of equipment enthusiasts are hashtagging their photos #GolfWRX. We feel it’s only right to feature the best of the WRX-tagged imagery here.

And if you’re not on Instagram, well there’s no way you could see these photos, so think of this series as a handy filter for the best #GolfWRX photos from the past 24 hours.

Aiken Golf Club, looks like y’all are good to go. All bag room and cart barn photos are 100% WRX approved.

Some puttorial handiwork from Bradley Putters, here. Acrylic + wood = nastiness.

A post that will only resonate with golfers of a certain age…

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When golf balls were golf balls….

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Do lambs travel in a herd? (Technically correct, according to Google)

Lovely Lincoln ball makers, indeed. Nice work here from CNC Creations.

The expected singular ferrule work from Boyd Blade & Ferrule. Very nice.

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1958

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Lovely Red Bird & Avian wand.

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Heat-stained, Stamped & Fitted. ??

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If you’re on Instagram, remember to hashtag your photos #GolfWRX. And if you’re not on Instagram, well, don’t.

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ICYMI: The incredible story of a golf course artist freed from jail

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Since Max Adler of Golf Digest profiled convicted killer and golf artist Valentino Dixon in 2012, the Attica inmate has been on much of the golf audience’s collective radar.

It wasn’t just that Dixon, who never so much stepped onto a golf course in his life, dedicated himself to putting beautiful golf landscapes on paper, but rather, many, including Adler, believed he was wrongfully convicted. Jimmy Roberts, too, profiled Dixon, albeit in video form, and was of the same mind.

Adler and Roberts both played a small part in what happened this week, as the publicity generated by their work alerted wrongful conviction advocates to Dixon’s case: Dixon’s murder conviction was vacated.

It’s an incredible story of both justice served (albeit woefully late), and a surprising passion. If you’re unfamiliar with Dixon’s work, you can see some of it in this YouTube video by tinad426, presumably featuring the photos of his drawings taken by Golf Digest. (Many outlets refer to Dixon’s art as “paintings.” This is incorrect as his medium in colored pencil: he wasn’t allowed to use paint and paintbrushes)

“The guys [in prison] can’t understand,” Dixon said. “They always say I don’t need to be drawing this golf stuff. I know it makes no sense, but for some reason my spirit is attuned to this game.”

A quick recap of the case: Dixon had been serving a minimum 38-year-to-life sentence since August, 1991, for the shooting of 17-year-old Torriano Jackson, allegedly following an argument about a girl.

While Dixon admitted he was at the crime scene, he claimed was in a nearby liquor store at the time of the killing. Georgetown University’s Prisons and Justice Initiative found that a gunpowder test on Dixon’s clothes had come back negative and the prosecution failed to share the information with the defence.

Additionally, Lamarr Scott told local media he was in fact the shooter, and has maintained that he, not Dixon, was guilty in the years since.

He was never arrested for the crime. However, Scott, in jail for a separate crime, was given the opportunity to formally confess to the crime this week. He did so, and Dixon was exonerated hours later.

“Maybe he’ll even take up golf,” Golf Digest’s Max Adler quoted his subject of six years ago as saying.

Let’s hope he does.

 

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