Phil Mickelson declines to comment on 13th hole controversy at US Open | Golf News


Last Updated: 17/06/18 11:41pm

Phil Mickelson declined to speak to the media after finishing the most controversial of his 27 US Open appearances with a one-under 69.

Mickelson provoked a storm of criticism for his actions on the 13th green in the third round, when he ran after his ball having missed a putt for bogey and knocked it back towards the hole while it was still in motion.

Phil Mickelson did not speak to reporters after his final round

Phil Mickelson did not speak to reporters after his final round

The left-hander caused a further stir in an unrepentant interview afterwards, when he admitted doing it deliberately to prevent his ball rolling off the front of the green and behind the front bunker while knowing he would incur a two-shot penalty.

Many observers, including his former coach Butch Harmon and two-time US Open champion Curtis Strange, felt Mickelson should have been disqualified under a different rule for deliberately gaining an advantage by striking a moving ball.

3:20
Butch Harmon and Luke Donald discuss the fallout from Phil Mickelson’s controversial incident at the US Open, but did he offer to pull out of the tournament?

Butch Harmon and Luke Donald discuss the fallout from Phil Mickelson’s controversial incident at the US Open, but did he offer to pull out of the tournament?

USGA executive director Mike Davis revealed on Saturday evening that Mickelson, who ended up with a sextuple-bogey 10 on his card before going on to card an 81, called him to clarify the ruling having read the vast array of comments on social media calling for him to withdraw.

His wife, Amy, claimed in an interview with Golfweek that he offered to withdraw, although Davis would not confirm that as he defended the USGA’s decision to impose a two-shot penalty under Rule 14-5 for “making a stroke at a moving ball”.

1:38
Phil Mickelson admitted he was happy to accept a two-shot penalty for hitting a moving ball, but he denied claims of disrespect to the US Open.

Phil Mickelson admitted he was happy to accept a two-shot penalty for hitting a moving ball, but he denied claims of disrespect to the US Open.

Amy Mickelson is reported as saying: “Phil called Mike Davis and said, ‘If I’ve done something that crosses the line that much, then I need to withdraw immediately’.

“You know it’s not his finest moment, but hopefully he’ll learn from it. Like anybody, good people make mistakes. We all have a moment in life sometimes and that was kind of a moment I think for him.”

Rickie Fowler said Mickelson joked about Saturday's controversy on 13

Rickie Fowler said Mickelson joked about Saturday’s controversy on 13

Mickelson raised his arms in celebration after holing a six-foot putt for par at the 13th on Sunday, although he bogeyed the final two holes to close on 16 over par while his playing partner, Rickie Fowler, followed his third-round 84 with a superb 65 to earn a place in the top-20.

Asked if they had spoken about the fallout from the previous day’s incident, Fowler said: “He joked about it right as we went down the first hole, but we had a good time. And then he made a good par save on 13, and it looked like he won the Masters. He didn’t jump, but he had a little celebration there.

US Open Golf

June 18, 2018, 10:00pm

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“Obviously, Phil’s great at enjoying playing golf and having fun out there, interacting with the fans. I feel like we both had a good time out there just enjoying a fun round of golf.”

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