"But toughen up, this was not meant that way".
The simple question, what happened over at 13? That, at least, might have been excusable, even for a player in his 27th Open who clearly knows better. Let's let Mickelson out of golf jail now. "You take the two shots and move on". "When [players] do it, it's on a very large stage and there's so much immediate reaction on Twitter and social media, it can overwhelm", Amy Mickelson said.
It might have been different if it had been a moment of madness caused by a rush of blood to the head.
Some believe Mickelson should've been disqualified - or disqualified himself.
"I don't see how", he said.
"I've had multiple times when I've wanted to do that, and I finally did", Mickelson said.
As one of the guardians of the rules, golf's image as a sport of integrity and fair play suffered a blow here and although the USGA followed the letter of the law, they missed an opportunity to say something about its spirit.
Mickelson's explanation was another. Like anybody, good people make mistakes.
Remember when you were a kid at the putt-putt golf course and you stopped a ball that rolled past the hole in frustration?
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Then explaining it all away by saying he was simply taking advantage of the rules.
"I don't mean to disrespect anybody", the four-times major victor said. After all, Mickelson admittedly took an intentional swing at it while it was moving, which could have fallen under another rule (1-2) declaring that "a player must not take an action with the intent to influence the movement of a ball in play". At that time, I just didn't feel like going back and forth and hitting the shot over. His third shot put him within 58 feet of the hole.
The apology comes after some initial defiance on the matter from Mickelson.
Mickelson went on to shoot a round of 81 and sits third last of those that made the halfway cut on 17-over par. At this rate, he'll just be glad to leave Shinnecock Hills in one piece.
He took a 10 on the hole, by the way.
Mickelson said he knew the ball was going to roll off the greens and behind a bunker, which is why he did it.
The tournament didn't end so well for fan-favorite Phil Mickelson. He spoke with USGA officials after the round to discuss whether he should indeed play Sunday's final round.
Mickelson has made no secret in the past of his dislike for some Open setups, which might be one reason he's never won an Open. "Phil running down a putt & hitting it while it's moving or giving the thumbs up & s-t eating grin on the next hole.WTF was that?"
It was all smiles for Phil Mickelson on his birthday, amid the weird scenes.