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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

Check out these limited-edition Ryder Cup Adidas Tour360 shoes

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Here are GolfWRX, we love our Ryder Cup swag. Gianni brought you news of the U.S. squad’s apparel and some goodies from Puma last week. Today, we have more Ryder Cup-related gear news for fans of golf’s most storied team competition: Adidas is launching a limited edition Tour360 to commemorate the showdown at Le Golf National.

Available Sept. 24, the shoes draw their inspiration from the famed Ryder Cup trophy. The 10-cleated TPU outsole is designed to look like the wood grain finish at the trophy’s base, and the TPU top plate is shiny and gold like the trophy itself.

While the exterior of the shoe is the same whether your support the United States or Europe, the fortunate souls who snag a pair of the limited-edition shoes will be able to choose their preferred sockliner. One features the American flag and the final scores from every Ryder Cup since 1979, the other, the European flag.

“We know how much the Ryder Cup means to fans all over the world,” said Masun Denison, global footwear director, adidas Golf. “It’s the most competitive event in golf, and brings out a level of emotion that you don’t normally see in the sport. Possession of the Ryder Cup trophy is what both of these teams and fans are after, so we looked to it for inspiration.”

The shoes (MSRP $220) will come with a limited-edition shoe bag and will only available online at adidas.com.

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19th Hole

Rope hat fans, rejoice: Titleist’s Tour Rope Flat Bill is here

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The rope hat is having something of a moment, isn’t it? As the mesh trucker fades to the periphery and the outer recesses of hipsterdom where it belongs, the good old-fashioned cotton rope snapback is stepping up to fill the void in vintage-inspired headwear.

Titleist is getting into the rope hat game with its Tour Rope Flat Bill, worn perhaps most prominently by Cameron Smith recently, but seen adorning the heads of Adam Scott, Jason Kokrak, and Rafa Cabrera Bello.

Check ’em out.

The Tour Rope Flat Bill is available on Titleist’s website for $30 now in black/white, navy/white, and white/hunter green colorways.

 

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19th Hole

GolfWRX Members analyze (and roast) Cosmo Kramer’s golf swing

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Kramer Hickok’s win last week on the Web.com Tour brought to mind the greatest golfing Kramer of them all: Cosmo Kramer, of course.

Jerry Seinfield’s singular “hipster doofus” next-door neighbor flirted with the great game on occasion, if you recall: Beating ball into the Atlantic (which ultimately factors into George’s great “marine biologist” ruse), Stan the Caddie, playing Westchester, and a handful of other angles.

It’s during the “Marine Biologist” episode that we get a look at Cosmo’s action, and it is something to behold. The fluidity of Snead, here, folks.

We asked our GolfWRX members to fire up their V1 and give us their best breakdown of Kramer’s “driver off the beach” swing. Here are some of the best replies.

BewareTheGlowball writes

“On takeaway the hands get a little too close to the body, which would lead to a tendency to move over the top on the downswing. In this case however, Kramer makes a great move to put the club back on path from the top of his swing. Nearing impact his weight shifts backwards, which he owns and holds it like it was a classic swing of old…Better than about 75% of swings on the driving range when I go out.”

D1bound says: “Looks like he had a seizure.”

Getair23 says: “It’s so bad, he can’t even hit the ocean from the beach!”

ThunderBuzzworth says

“Horizontal takeaway equals more space for that flying elbow and massive hip turn. Then notice his transition and how he violently thrusts his upper body backwards into a silky smooth back-snap finishing with ALL his weight on his rear leg. Considering he is on the beach… take notes on the unorthodox ground impact location which happens to be 10 inches behind the ball to dramatically reduce spin.”

PowderedToastMan knows his Seinfeld: “That swing has the power to kill a whale, literally.”

Nony noke does as well: “Almost as good as Larry David’s swing. Preeettty, preeeettty good.”

And Gioguy21: “Kramer’s reverse C finish is simply poetic – if only he had the man hands necessary to release properly.”

And DavePelz4: “He’s not the Master of his Domain…or his swing.”

ZAP may have the most concise and spot-on breakdown.

“Stack and realaaaaaaaaaaalllllllly tilt.”

Thanks for the analysis, GolfWRX Members! And if anyone else would like to chime in on Cosmo’s club swinging motion, please do. Also, if there’s another swing from the big or small screen you’d like to see scrutinized, let us know.

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