Quick Thoughts on the Phil Mickelson U.S. Open Controversy

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The U.S. Open has come and gone, but it didn’t leave us without major story-lines, major controversy and a back-to-back Major winner. From a storyline perspective, the U.S. Open gave us a daunting course. A 7,450-yard Par 70 behemoth, which played even more difficult because of the wind. It was probably justly criticized for the lack of equality throughout Saturday, based on the course appearing to get away from the USGA late in the day, but all in all, Shinnecock Hills gave us the demand we would have hoped to see.

Now let’s get into the major controversy. Like, love or hate Phil Mickelson, you have to admit that what happened on Saturday was something we have never seen before. I have talked to a couple of friends about this situation, and I surprisingly have gotten mixed reviews. Some loved what happened. They were happy that Mickelson “stuck it” to the USGA and used poorly written rules to his advantage. And if the USGA was going to make the course unfairly played on Saturday, Mickelson did a service to all golfers. Personally, I don’t see it as anything like that. Golf is a game of etiquette. Actions have consequences, and NOBODY is bigger than the game of golf. Assessing Mickelson with a two-stroke penalty is essentially the equivalent of giving somebody a slap on the wrist for insider trading. He should have been disqualified and made an example of. Instead, golf has now opened up a can of worms here. What do they do if a player tries this exact act again? If you disqualify the player, it looks like you are giving out rulings based on popularity, and if you don’t, well, then you are just letting players rewrite the rules and play the course at their discretion. With all that being said, since the U.S. Open allowed this act of criminality, I think as a writer for the sport of golf I deserve to be able to make up my own rules as I go along also. If you read my U.S. Open Contenders and Sleepers article last week, link here, you will see I picked Dustin Johnson Brooks Koepka to win the U.S. Open, because I knew Dustin Johnson Brooks Koepka would win back-to-back weeks years.

Rules are in place for a reason:

A lack of rules would lead to confusion.
A lack of enforcing the rules leads to chaos. 

 

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @teeoffsports

And check me out on Rotoballer.com for my golf player news.

 

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