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Both Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth laughed at Phil Mickelson’s 13th hole antics

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The image of 48-year-old Phil Mickelson jogging after his golf ball on the 13th green at Shinnecock, Saturday, was bizarrely comedic. Even if you condemn Mickelson in the strongest of terms, taken on its face, the scene is a silly one.

That said, it’s interesting that two of the biggest names in the game had the same response: laughter.

Speaking before the Travelers Championship, Rory McIlroy said

“I saw what happened…and honestly, I laughed. I felt there was a massive overreaction to it. Knowing Phil, he knew what he was doing, and as a player who has been in that head space before in a tournament, I can see it happening.”

Jordan Spieth voiced similar sentiments earlier in the week

“I laughed, I thought it was really funny…Phil knows the rules…There was a chance it was going to go back behind the bunker and he’s got to chip back, or he was going to play off the green anyways, so he was potentially saving himself a shot. So if that was the intent, then what’s the harm in that? He’s playing the best score he can.”

There are a couple of widely different perspectives (and plenty in-between) here.

One: Thank goodness Spieth and McIlroy aren’t uptight dogmatists when it comes to the rules, and they appreciate the humor in an absurd situation.

Two: Spieth and McIlroy, as significant figures in the game, ought to stand up for the integrity of the rules of golf, condemning Mickelson’s behavior…and perhaps question whether disqualification was in order (as Jason Day and other pros have done).

Which camp you find yourself in likely aligns with how you view the Mickelson incident: A humorous and well-deserved middle finger to the USGA or a reprehensible act for which Mickelson was not sufficiently punished?

Beneath Mickelson’s behavior and the responses of McIlroy and Spieth is the ever-growing rift between the USGA and PGA Tour players–as well as a level of annoyance with/disdain for the organization’s Rules of Golf.

Remembering how Mickelson spearheaded the overhaul of the PGA of America-run U.S. Ryder Cup team and its procedures when he called out captain Tom Watson in 2014, it was the same sort of situation: “Is this calculated, or has he lost his mind?” everyone seemed to be asking.

In the wake of those remarks, players rallied behind the veteran, and he assumed a leadership position in the reform effort. Whether we see something similar with respect to the pros and the USGA/U.S. Open, it certainly looks like the political will for change is there among Tour players, as McIlroy and Spieth’s remarks suggest.

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. BHS

    Jun 25, 2018 at 12:23 pm

    You know whats funny…I laughed too. It was funny. I also thought after they explained the two rules involved that he should have been DQ’ed. It is no different than watching a B-ball player I root for come off the bench during a fight….I would most likely do it too. Then I know I would be sitting out the next game. In Phil’s case I would see you at the next tourney.

  2. Johnny Penso

    Jun 21, 2018 at 4:15 am

    The premise of having to be in one camp or the other is false. It is both a humorous and well-deserved middle finger to the USGA and a reprehensible act for which Mickelson was not sufficiently punished. You don’t need to pick one or the other and dig in. He should have been disqualified, end of story. It’s a permanent stain on the integrity of the game.

    • Richard

      Jun 25, 2018 at 7:59 am

      Under what rule would he be disqulified? They can’t just go, “oh no, that’s terrible, you can’t do that. You’re disqulified!”. Please tell us under which rule other than 14-5 the USGA should have acted under.

  3. Tartan Golf Travel

    Jun 20, 2018 at 4:55 pm

    The USGA has screwed up too many times to count. I think Phil had enough and was tired of playing goofy golf. Mike Davis needs to resign like he said he would.

  4. BIG STU

    Jun 20, 2018 at 3:52 pm

    I like your comment about giving the USGA the middle finger. I do that all the time.

    • Dr Troy

      Jun 20, 2018 at 7:02 pm

      +1 Big Stu….This topic needs to be put to rest now. Move on.

    • stevez

      Jun 25, 2018 at 12:10 pm

      Phil’s action was clownish and he should have been DQed. OK, but it was funny, and it was the only way of getting thru to the thick skulls of the USGA. All criticism has no effect whether from Perez or Zach Phil’s actions focused attention of the absurd putt-putt conditions the USGA had reduced the course to. Clowns and windmills…..if you one putt the 18th green you get a ticket for a free round, during the week (weekends excluded).

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19th Hole

John Peterson coming out of retirement after being inspired by the Masters

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John Peterson, the former NCAA D-I individual champion, gave up his ambition of making a living on Tour last summer when he failed to keep his PGA Tour card, but inspired by Tiger Woods’ victory at the Masters, Peterson is set to make a comeback.

The 30-year-old has been working in a real estate office for the past seven months and announced his decision to return on Matt Moscona’s radio show “After Review” on 104.5 FM ESPN Baton Rouge. The Texan told Moscona about the desire he felt once again to tee it up while watching the Masters earlier this month, with both Patrick Cantlay and Tiger Woods serving as pivotal players in Peterson’s decision.

“Sometimes you’ve got to take a step back to realize what you had. I was in an office for seven months, and it was fine when I started, I was paying the bills. Then the Masters came along and I’m watching this kid Patrick Cantlay, who in 2011 finished second to me in the National Championship when he was at UCLA, and he’s finishing ninth in the Masters, it’s on TV, and I beat him and I beat him a lot and I’m just like man, that could be me.”

“And then Tiger wins, with his story, it was just so inspiring, honestly. And I quit my job, seriously, the next day after the Masters.”

As for where he stands at this particular moment with his comeback, Peterson has no Tour status and will rely on sponsor exemptions and Monday qualifiers, while the mini-tour route is another option for the Texan. Peterson knows he’s taking a risk in his latest comeback, but the 30-year-old sounds ready for the challenge that lies ahead.

“I’m taking a big risk, and I really don’t have any place to play right now 100 percent, so I have to qualify and stuff. I will get back, I know I will. It’s just kind of a regret watching the guys that I played with my whole life finish top 10 in the majors and just knowing I can do it.”

 

 

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19th Hole

The 6 best #GolfWRX photos on Instagram today (4.25.19)

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In this segment, we’ll be taking a look at some of the best #GolfWRX tagged photos on Instagram. In case you aren’t already, there’s a whole load of action going on at our page, so follow us: @golfwrx

Let’s get to it then, here are six of the best #GolfWRX photos from the past 24 hours.

New “Never Lag” goodies releasing today from Swag Golf…

…and multiple PGA Tour winner Kevin Streelman has a cover ready for action at this week’s Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

For anyone still having Masters withdrawal symptoms, here’s some “Augusta green” Raw Apex MBs.

Amazing patchwork from Robert Mark Golf.

A very cool Elements Gold was handed to Corey Conners from UST Mamiya Golf Shafts at this week’s event.

When golf is everything.

Get hashtagging your golf posts #GolfWRX for your chance to feature in our best of Instagram posts in the future!

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19th Hole

The 6 best #GolfWRX photos on Instagram today (4.24.19)

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In this segment, we’ll be taking a look at some of the best #GolfWRX tagged photos on Instagram. In case you aren’t already, there’s a whole load of action going on at our page, so follow us: @golfwrx

Let’s get to it then, here are six of the best #GolfWRX photos from the past 24 hours.

Some cool headcover designs from Robert Mark Golf.

New putters are coming to the Hive from Bettinardi.

How do we like this exotic Tour issue heads from Brute Golf, WRXers?

CJC Golf has created this excellent looking “Frank” putter cover.

Who else can relate?

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**hint** @coloradogolfblog knows what’s up #repost

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Michael Martinez is auctioning off his slick looking Hulk head cover creation this Thursday.

Get hashtagging your golf posts #GolfWRX for your chance to feature in our best of Instagram posts in the future!

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