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Phil Mickelson hit with 2-stroke penalty at Greenbrier. See what happened

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“I’m not sure what I just did is legal…I’ll ask somebody,” Phil Mickelson said after patting down fescue in front of the teebox at the seventh hole during the final round of A Military Tribute at the Greenbrier.

Unfortunately for Mickelson, his actions were not legal. After conferring with rules official, Mickelson was told he had run afoul of the Rules of Golf for the second time in as many tournaments.

Rule 13-2 states in part,

“A player must not improve or allow to be improved his line of play or a reasonable extension of that line beyond the hole by removing or pressing down sand, loose soil, replaced divots or other cut turf placed in position.”

Flattening fescue in one’s line of play is a violation, to be sure. Mickelson took a two-stroke penalty accordingly.

See the incident below.

But here’s where things get truly bizarre. Mickelson didn’t have to take the penalty. I mean, right? He hadn’t hit the tee shot. All he would have had to do is re-tee his ball in another position, thus taking a different line, right?

Of course, after he hits the ball, the damage is done (Mickelson consulted a rules official after the tee shot, so the official wasn’t able to intercede). But if he was concerned he may have broken a rule, why wouldn’t he have pressed pause on hitting the tee shot and called for an official then? Am I missing something here?

What do you think about this latest bit of Mickelsonian Rules-related drama, GolfWRX members?

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22 Comments

22 Comments

  1. BCC

    Jul 12, 2018 at 10:23 pm

    Q. On the teeing ground, a player broke off a branch of a tree which was interfering with his swing. The player maintained that such action was not a breach of Rule 13-2 because his ball was not yet in play. Was the player correct?

    A. No. The player was in breach of Rule 13-2 for improving the area of his intended swing. Although Rule 13-2 allows a player to eliminate irregularities of surface on the teeing ground, it does not allow him to break a branch interfering with his swing. The penalty would apply even if the player, before playing his next stroke, re-teed elsewhere on the teeing ground – see Decision 13-2/24.

  2. Cebe Jansen

    Jul 9, 2018 at 1:09 pm

    So it’s OK to ground my putter in front of my ball on my putting line before I make the putt?

    • Stuart G.

      Jul 9, 2018 at 1:27 pm

      Yes – with some restrictions – see rule 16-1.

      • Ell

        Jul 9, 2018 at 2:09 pm

        and is it ok to step on the ground behind my ball on the tee?

  3. Sein Kang

    Jul 9, 2018 at 11:38 am

    I think Phil is losing interest in the game…its sad to say but he’s nearing the end. He just doesnt care anymore…

    • Ell

      Jul 9, 2018 at 2:11 pm

      No I think its about time for the USGA and the PGA to edit the rule book and reduce it to 10 pages.

  4. Chuck Barkley

    Jul 9, 2018 at 3:28 am

    Was it Dill Pickleson that said, “I’m such an idiot?” Yeah, I think it applies here.

  5. Man

    Jul 9, 2018 at 1:24 am

    He’s losing his mind and is becoming barmy without Bones at his side

  6. Tom

    Jul 8, 2018 at 8:30 pm

    oh my gawd ! it’s a conspiracy !

  7. geohogan

    Jul 8, 2018 at 8:25 pm

    How long will the USGA allow Phil to thumb his nose at them and normalize disrespect for the Rules of Golf?

    • Ell

      Jul 9, 2018 at 2:16 pm

      How long will it take the USGA to get rid of 85% of their absolutely ridiculous rules?

  8. Mat

    Jul 8, 2018 at 6:03 pm

    I hate the difficulty of the Rules, but this is an easy one. You can’t go make the course easier before you hit a shot. No more basic than that.

    In fact, it’s so blazingly simple, I think Phil did that on purpose to make him look like a good guy.

    • ljp

      Jul 8, 2018 at 7:42 pm

      so blazingly simple that he, his caddy, and the announcers thought it was legal…

      • Fang

        Jul 10, 2018 at 2:08 am

        If you think Phil didn’t know it was a penalty then I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you. He did it on purpose in an attempt to retrieve his image.

  9. ogo

    Jul 8, 2018 at 5:53 pm

    The Rules of Golf are sacred… even though not well understood by the top pro players in the world… so where does that leave us struggling rec players?!! 🙁

    • Christopher

      Jul 8, 2018 at 7:06 pm

      If you’re playing for recreation who cares? Your main goal is to have a fun day playing the game you love. If you’re with other players you just ask them what’s acceptable. It’s like any other game, you agree with your buddies what’s what and have fun.

      If you’ve got a pencil and card the rules aren’t that difficult, sure, there are some obscure rules, but if the ball’s in play, you can’t go far wrong.

      • orangeology

        Jul 9, 2018 at 4:11 pm

        good point, but you don’t touch the soccer ball with your hand only because you play soccer ‘recreationally’. rules are the rules in the world of sports, that are concerns of everyone whether professional or weekend-isque. it is a known fact that lots of lines in the golf rule book are outdated, stupid-sounding and too much. why should it be that hard to make it better? i want to believe Phil did it on purpose to ridicule, and i wouldn’t have a prob with his act if that so. and no i am not even a fan of Phil.

    • Johnny Penso

      Jul 8, 2018 at 8:01 pm

      I think this is Phil’s attempt to regain some credibility after his recent putt chasing penalty where he should have gotten disqualified. “See, look at me, I can call penalties on myself”.

      • aupga

        Jul 9, 2018 at 12:40 pm

        agree

      • Fang

        Jul 10, 2018 at 2:10 am

        It is obvious, you would think he could wait a month or two before doing it though.

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19th Hole

The 6 best #GolfWRX photos on Instagram today (8.22.19)

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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.

Which one you taking, WRXers?

Some awesome shots of World Woods GC in Florida courtesy of Zoe.

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Although World Woods is a bit of a drive from Tampa, it is well worth the trek north for a great round of golf! The whole area had a crazy amount of rain the past couple of weeks, but besides a few flooded bunkers you wouldn’t have known (at least the Pine Barrens course)- evidence of great course drainage. The whole round I had to remind myself I was in Florida and not North Carolina. The course is tight, tree lined, and so many waste bunkers that each golf cart comes with its own sand rake. Don’t be deterred by the description though. There are plenty of “redemption” holes which help to keep scores low. I only had time to play the Pine Barrens course, but look forward to coming back to the area to try the Rolling Oaks course. The great rack rate and the proximity of other great golf courses makes this a great location for a future FL golf trip (who’s in?!? ????).

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Stunning design from Bettinardi.

Atlanta-themed ballmarkers from Swag.

How do you like the neck on this flat-stick from Olson, WRXers?

Beautiful face work on this lefty putter from Tyson Lamb.

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

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The 6 best #GolfWRX photos on Instagram today (8.21.19)

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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 additions on the way from UST Mamiya Golf Shafts.

How do you like this creation from Cushman Custom Golf, WRXers?

Cheetah Fur covers from Swag.

Slick looking new additions from Haywood Golf.

Great shot of the par-3 seventh hole at Stonewall Golf Club from Will.

Max Homa giving Eddie Pepperell a run for his money with his social media witticisms!

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Haha we salute you ???? ????

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The 6 best #GolfWRX photos on Instagram today (8.20.19)

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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.

Torched blue Coronado Two flat-stick from Embrace Putters.

Stunning looking restoration job on this Allendale flat-stick from Tyson Lamb.

Great shots of Manufacturers Golf & Country Club in Pennsylvania courtesy of Andy Kerestesy.

Sweet looking Avengers flat-stick from Olson Putter Co.

Skull putter neck from Kraken Golf, what do you say WRXers?

American Flatsticks showcasing their new putter covers which will be dropping this Wednesday.

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Just in time for the final leg of the @fedex cup we are introducing our first Mallet Headcover. Both the Blade and Mallet will be available Wednesday at 8am PT / 11am ET @americanflatsticks. . . . Don’t forget, each cover purchased during the three weeks of the playoffs gives you an entry into our custom Headcover Giveaway. As a reminder, we will randomly draw one order at the end of the playoffs and the winner will have the opportunity to design a cover and get 5 of them to share with friends. . . . #chickfila #golfswag #titleist #golftips #atlanta #putter #picoftheday #pga #golf #fedexcup #instagolf #PGATOUR #LPGATOUR #cow #americanflatsticks #eastlakegolfclub #golfwrx #Handmade #tigerwoods #eatmorechicken #funny #golfchannel #gibbonshandmade #tigerwoods #golfstagram

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