Phil Mickelson Apologizes for US Open Actions, Is 'Embarrassed and Disappointed'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJune 20, 2018

Phil Mickelson tips his cap after finishing the final round of the U.S. Open Golf Championship, Sunday, June 17, 2018, in Southampton, N.Y. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

Phil Mickelson apologized Wednesday for his bizarre decision to putt a moving ball during Saturday's play at the U.S. Open.

"I know this should've come sooner, but it's taken me a few days to calm down. My anger and frustration got the best of me last weekend," he texted reporters, per Alan Shipnuck of Golf.com. "I'm embarrassed and disappointed by my actions. It was clearly not my finest moment and I'm sorry."

Mickelson—who struggled mightily at Shinnecock Hills in New York, shooting 16 over for the tournament—appeared to let his frustrations get the best of him on the 13th when his bogey putt slid past the hole and was on the verge of sliding off the green. So he intervened, putting the moving ball back toward the cup.

After the round, he said he was aware his actions were against the rules and would result in a two-stroke penalty.

"I just didn't feel like going back and forth and hitting the same shot over," he noted, per Bob Harig of ESPN.com. "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."

He also responded to the people critical of his illegal putt, who contended it was against the spirit of the game and disrespectful to the tournament.

"I don't mean it disrespectful; if you're taking it that way, that's not on me," he said. "I'm sorry that you're taking it that way, it's certainly not meant that way. Sometimes in these situations, it's just easier to take the two shots and move on."

There were certainly harsh critics of Mickelson: 

There were also those who simply thought the double-putt added to his legend: 

Regardless of where the public falls on the matter, Mickelson was remorseful for the decision Wednesday. 

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