U.S. Open tournament officials reviewed Phil Mickelson's putting fiasco during the third round and assessed him a two-stroke penalty for violating Rule 14-5, but other observers believe the punishment should have been harsher, including some pro golfers.
People who follow professional golf were in a collective state of disbelief Saturday after witnessing Phil Mickelson run after his ball on the 13th green and then hit it while it was still moving.
Mickelson took a 10 on the hole after officials made their ruling. In a swiftly organized press briefing Saturday afternoon, John Bodenhamer of the USGA said Phil would not be disqualified from the event because he did not "purposely stop or deflect the ball," and, in doing so, violate Rule 1-2.
Some golf observers, including at least three pro golfers, aren't buying that explanation, and took to Twitter to make it known that Lefty should have been disciplined with a DQ. The pros reacting include Steven Bowditch, Eddie Pepperell, and Eduardo Molinari. Other pros didn't have as harsh of a viewpoint.
You can see their thoughts below.
So he didn't purposely stop the ball for his benefit?? Ok .. so running after the ball after he saw he was going to run 50 yards off the green was just a veteran move to keep his hamstrings warm.. gotcha— bowdo (@bowdo83) June 16, 2018
Usga Rule change..— bowdo (@bowdo83) June 16, 2018
If admitting to completely violating this rule on national tv, it's deemed you are disqualified.
One exception to the rule.
It's your birthday.
I think that’s a serious breach...in that case I am sorry to say because I love Phil but that’s a DQ!— Edoardo Molinari (@DodoMolinari) June 16, 2018
Agree with this Serious cop out from the USGA. https://t.co/HEAKwK5IZz— Eddie Pepperell (@PepperellEddie) June 16, 2018
it was totally purposeful. that's why he should be DQ'd under rule 1-2, not just slapped with 2. hitting a moving ball is worse than just stopping it, imo.— Gary VanSickle (@GaryVanSickle) June 16, 2018
Yes, you read that correctly. If Mickelson had "stopped" or "deflected" the ball, he would have been disqualified. But since he merely continued to hit a moving ball, the USGA has deemed that only worthy of a two-stroke penalty.— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelTAN) June 16, 2018
Neat and tidy explanation by Phil re: putt-gate, as one would expect from the media savvy vet. Thoughtful, smooth and well-executed. And I didn’t buy a word of it. #LeftyvsUSGA— Damon Hack (@damonhackGC) June 16, 2018
Phil always wants to be the most clever guy in the room. I think he outsmarted himself on this one.— Alan Shipnuck (@AlanShipnuck) June 16, 2018
Not sure this quote is going to age well. https://t.co/m0fkCH52c4— Jeff Ritter (@Jeff_Ritter) June 16, 2018
I mean.. that ball may have rolled another 30 yds off the green— Willy Wilcox (@willwilcoxgolf) June 16, 2018
Just saw a clip of the Lefty situation. Never in my life seen that. What’s the ruling there guys? Not in front of a tv. #madness— Graeme McDowell (@Graeme_McDowell) June 16, 2018
Ok. What’s Philly Mick done?— Lee Westwood (@WestwoodLee) June 16, 2018
It’s ok. I’ve found video of it! . I’ve so often felt like doing that!!!— Lee Westwood (@WestwoodLee) June 16, 2018
Can we talk about Phil’s blazing speed WHILE being super light on his feet running that thing down?— Graham DeLaet (@GrahamDeLaet) June 16, 2018
I love watching Phil Mickelson.— Blayne Barber (@BlayneBarberAU) June 16, 2018
Beef, grinning, on Phil: “A moment of madness.”— Alan Bastable (@alan_bastable) June 16, 2018