Phil Mickelson might not have won the 2018 U.S. Open this past weekend, but he’s certainly earned the most headlines.
On Saturday, Mickelson intentionally hit a moving putt while on the 13th green at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, New York, reported the Associated Press. The move earned him a two-stroke penalty, and he ultimately scored a 10 on the hole before finishing with an 81.
Mickelson later explained away the move as his answer to a bad putt, saying, “It’s meant to take advantage of the rules as best as you can. In that situation, I was just going back and forth. I would gladly take the two shots over continuing that display.”
According to Golfweek, however, once Mickelson learned there was general frustration with his move, as well as talk of disqualification, his wife Amy Mickelson said he offered to withdraw.
Amy reportedly said, “When he heard that he called Mike Davis and said ‘If I’ve done something that crosses the line that much, then I need to withdraw immediately.’ ”
The athlete’s wife added, “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.”
According to the AP, Davis — the USGA’s chief executive — said of the call, “Phil really did want to understand how the rule operates because he didn’t want to — frankly, as he said to me: ’I don’t want to play in this championship if I should have been disqualified.’ ”
“That’s where we clarified that, ‘Phil, you actually made a stroke at a moving ball, and so we have to apply that rule,’ ” Davis continued. “That’s different than if he had deliberately just stopped the ball or whacked it in another direction or something like that. So it’s just, it’s us applying the rules.”
Brooks Koepka won the tournament for the second year in a row on Sunday.
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