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Friday, July 19, 2019

Phil Mickelson responds to US Open disqualification talk

Phil Mickelson moving ball

Phil Mickelson angered many a golf purist on Saturday when he intentionally hit a ball on the putting green before it came to a stop, and there was some talk that the five-time major champion should have been disqualified for the stunt. Mickelson heard that chatter, and it inspired him to place a call to the USGA.

Mickelson said he intentionally took a two-shot penalty on the 13th hole at Shinnecock Hills to take advantage of the rules. USGA CEO Mike Davis said Mickelson called him on Saturday to make sure he wasn’t supposed to be given the boot.

“Phil really did want to understand how the rule operates,” Davis said, via Randall Mell of the Gold Channel. “Frankly, as he said to me, `Mike, I don’t want to play in this championship if I should have been disqualified.’

“He was really wanting information to say, ‘Help me understand, because I’ve been hearing stuff in the media that maybe it’s a disqualification.’ I said, ‘Phil, that’s simply not the case.’ I’m not going to speak for Phil, but it seemed he was very appreciative of that, and said, `Listen, it would be helpful if the USGA clarified that, just to make sure everybody understands how that rule operates.’”

The USGA said the two-stroke penalty was the proper ruling. Some people weren’t satisfied with Mickelson’s excuse, and frankly the 48-year-old didn’t seem to care. Whether the two-strike penalty was harsh enough or not, it’s hard to feel like Mickelson didn’t act childishly and out of frustration. That’s something that’s very uncharacteristic of the World Golf Hall of Famer.

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