Phil Mickelson has had nearly a month to reflect on the rules incident heard ’round the world at the U.S. Open, when he hit a moving ball on the 13th green at Shinnecock, and he feels remorse for the intense backlash he received not only for the act itself, but also his cavalier attitude about it afterward.
“I’ve had a rough month,” he told the media after firing a first-round 70 in the Scottish Open. “I haven’t been my best. So I’m working at trying to fix that. I made a big mistake [at the US Open] and I wish I could take it back, but I can’t. There’s not much I can do about it now other than just try to act a little better. The backlash is my own fault.”
“Not only was I not great on the course – I was not great after the round, either,” Mickelson continued. “So it was just not a great day, and it was my birthday. So I tend to do dumb stuff on my birthday, too.”
When he was pressed about whether his reaction on the green was a protest of sorts about a course setup that some deemed unfair, Mickelson again offered a thoughtful reply. “At the time I was pretty angry,” he said. “The way I show anger is not the traditionally accepted way of, you know, throwing clubs and berating the fans and marshals. I tend to be a little more passive aggressive in my actions, and that was kind of what I was doing.”