Should Mickelson have been disqualified?June 16, 2018 Golf News
In Saturday's Fourball the NCG team discuss the bizarre Phil Mickelson incident and and whether Zach Johnson is right to question Shinnecock Hills' playability
Mark: What is your go-to putting thought for when the greens have turned blue and you’re absolutely petrified over a three-foot putt?
Alex: Line it up bang on the middle of the cup; “Hit the middle of the cup”, “hit the middle of the cup”, “hit the middle of the cup”; Smack it five feet past.
James: Wider stance, grip down, shorter stroke and don’t look at the hole until you hear it rattling at the bottom of the cup. That’s the theory but when actually in the situation I probably couldn’t remember my own name.
Keel: Honestly, focus entirely on speed and just make sure I don’t bring in the possibility of a three putt. I know it’s incredibly negative, but that’s why I’m writing this and not playing in the US Open this week.
Alex: Go on then: What’s your take on the Mickelson situation? Should he have been disqualified? Should he withdraw?
James: Storm in a tea cup. You’d think someone had died. He wouldn’t have done it if he was anywhere near the lead. He’s 17 over, it’s his birthday. We moan about golfers being robotic and sterile yet somehow Mickelson – and Jimmy Walker for his backtopping comments – are being vilified for telling it like it is. He’s not gained anything. Think we need to accept what has happened and move on. I do feel a little bit of sympathy for Beef though as it clearly affected his round.
Keel: I love Phil, but what on earth was he doing? This is golf, not hockey. I thought he would come out afterwards and explain that the conditions got the better of him and he regrets what he did. But to then turn around and say that he was simply trying to take advantage of the rules is a disgrace. Hopefully he has a think about what he has done and disqualifies himself, or at the very least donates his prize money to charity.
Mark: You wonder if he was falling on his sword by just admitting it was deliberate. By the letter of the law he’s gone. It doesn’t matter where he is in the field or what the situation is he’s done one of the strangest things I’ve ever seen. You can understand it happening but the explanation was even worse. I like him generally but his chat afterwards was arrogant in the extreme – he talked about it as though it happens at least once a round.