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Phil Mickelson Apologises for US Open Controversy

By: | Thu 21 Jun 2018 | Comments

Following major controversy at the U.S. Open, Phil Mickelson has apologised days later in a text message sent to an exclusive mailing list of reporters and writers.

The five-time major champion caused a huge stir during Saturday’s round at Shinnecock Hills when he putted a moving ball to deliberately prevent it from rolling off the green. It was a startling breach of the rules from a veteran golfer on that stage, and he seemed unrepentant afterwards, indeed explaining the thought process behind what happened.

“I don't mean disrespect by anybody, I know it's a two-shot penalty and at that time I didn't feel like going back and forth and I took the two-shot penalty and moved on. It's my understanding of the rules, I've had multiple times where I've wanted to do that I just finally did it.

“No question it was going to go down in to the same spot behind the bunker and I don't know if I would be able to save a shot, but I know it's a two-shot penalty hitting a moving ball, I tried to hit it as close to the hole as I could to make the next one and you take the two shots and move on.”

Many observers believe that the 48-year-old should have been disqualified from the Championship, but it was a storm in which the former Open winner appeared to breeze through, making an overly elaborate celebration on that same hole during Sunday’s final round, reminiscent of his actions after claiming victory at Augusta and Muirfield. Distasteful, arguably, defiant, certainly.

However, with the weekend now in the past, Mickelson addressed the situation.  “I know this should've come sooner, but it's taken me a few days to calm down. My anger and frustration got the best of me last weekend. I'm embarrassed and disappointed by my actions.”

Several prominent members of the field expressed their negative thoughts on the setup at the revered Long Island venue, but Mickelson’s comments and attitude afterwards went a step further, and in the light of day, he evidently realised the damage it has done to his reputation.

Among the greatest players and personalities of his era, Phil Mickelson has built up a degree of goodwill with the public and media, but his actions at Shinnecock were unquestionably a dark episode in what has always been an entertaining show.

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