Phil Mickelson reiterated Monday night that he is sorry for his actions on Saturday of the U.S. Open. He also hopes that there will come a time when everyone will be able to laugh about it.
“It wasn’t the right decision,” Mickelson said while speaking on Golf Channel’s Golf Central. “It wasn’t the smart decision. The Rules of Golf actually address that for next year, so I don’t think anybody will be looking at it as a smart play. But at the time I really didn’t care about the stroke difference.”
Mickelson was penalized two shots for hitting a moving ball on the 13th green during his third-round 81 at Shinnecock Hills. He spoke with reporters after the round and admitted to purposely hitting his ball to avoid having it run off the front of the green.
“I’ve had multiple times when I’ve wanted to do that, and I finally did,” said Mickelson, who was not disqualified by the USGA yet received heavy criticism from some who believed he should’ve been disqualified – or done it himself.
Mickelson, who actually offered to withdraw. ended up finishing off his championship with a final-round 69 to end up T-48.
He released an apology four days later, saying: “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. I’m embarrassed and disappointed by my actions. It was clearly not my finest moment and I’m sorry.”
Asked why it took him so long to apologize, Mickelson said he needed some time to clear his head.
“It took a little while for my anger and frustration to subside enough to where I could see clearly that I made not my best move,” Mickelson said. “It wasn’t my best moment. And so I apologized. Now, moving forward, the best thing I can do is to start promoting the game again in a positive way.”
Mickelson was at Soldier Field in Chicago on Monday to help promote this week’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. Mickelson took part in a skills challenge for kids and spent time afterwards signing autographs and taking pictures.
He is expected to tee it up next at the Greenbrier Classic next week in West Virginia. He’ll likely field more questions about what happened at the U.S. Open – and he expects to.
“I have pretty thick skin and I’m aware that I’ll probably hear about this for some time,” Mickelson said. ‘Fortunately, I can take it, and I hope at some point we’ll all be able to laugh about it.”