NY Sports Day
Joe McDonald

McDonald: Phil Mickelson Should Not Be Ruined For Having A Very Bad Day On The Course

USGA/Jeff Haynes

Shinnecock became Shinnecock once again today, where the high winds and fast greens took everyone by surprise.

And even if they didn’t show it, you could tell the frustration with the heavy numbers. The leader through two rounds Dustin Johnson with a 7-over and Tommy Fleetwood with a brilliant 4-under yesterday was 8-over today.

Ricky Fowler with a 14-over may have had the worst day numbers-wise, but at least he could sleep tonight.

Phil Mickelson on the other hand…

Look, the lefty had a tough day and his episode on the 13th hole, where he tapped a moving ball back to the hole was just frustration. That’s it. He knew today was his last shot and now tied for 64th, Mickelson pretty much is going home tomorrow empty-handed again.

“I don’t mean disrespect by anybody,” he said. “I know it’s a two-shot penalty. At that time I just didn’t feel like going back and forth and hitting the same shot over. I took the two-shot penalty and moved on. It’s my understanding of the rules. I’ve had multiple times where I’ve wanted to do that, I just finally did it.”

Of course the elitist and snobs who believe the sport of golf is more sacred than edicts that come from the Pope would lead you to believe Mickelson should be disqualified and banned from the sport for that infraction.

But seriously think about it, all Phil did here was something pretty much every Sunday duffer has done out of frustration and frankly all he did was affect his scorecard, which wasn’t going to change any outcome in the Open.

He didn’t threaten violence against an offical, like Serena Williams did in 2009, when she was called for a foot-fault.

He didn’t outright refuse to cooperate an investigation and then sue the league like Tom Brady did in Deflategate.

Nor did Mickelson outright lie about using performance enhancing drugs and then either fail a test or have get enough evidence against him that no test was necessary a la Alex Rodriguez.

He didn’t do anything like that. Basically he took a two-stroke penalty for something that should be on a blooper reel for years to come.

It’s just frustration. Every athlete no matter what the sport has gone through that. And I would venture to guess that many of his peers probably wanted to do what Mickelson did one time or another.

Is he at fault? Sure. Is it going to change the outcome of this tournament? Absolutely not.

Mickelson has had a great career. He endured frustration before, like back in 2004, when he called himself an “idiot” for blowing Shinnecock on the 72nd hole.

Today was different and frankly, it’s going to end up as a footnote on his epitaph.

Mickelson is a great guy, who is good with the media, great with charitable causes, and the fans love him. This was no his Waterloo, just a bad round of golf on his 48th birthday.

He should be cut a little bit of slack by the golf-world.

Shinnecock was Shinnecock today. It just got to Phil Mickelson.


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