Slumbers on Phil Mickelson at U.S. Open: ‘not the right way to have played’

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Slumbers on Phil Mickelson at U.S. Open: ‘not the right way to have played’

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Slumbers on Phil Mickelson at U.S. Open: ‘not the right way to have played’

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers says Phil Mickelson’s hockey skills at Shinnecock Hills were bad for the game, but stopped short of saying the R&A will disqualify anyone this week who follows Mickelson’s example of hitting a moving ball.

Mickelson tarnished his reputation on Shinnecock’s 13th green in the U.S. Open third round when he deliberately stopped his ball from rolling off the green.

“I don’t think it was good for the game and not the right way to have played this wonderful sport,” Slumbers said in his annual news conference ahead of the 147th British Open.

The R&A head spoke to Mickelson about the issue last week when the five-time major winner turned up for a practice round. Mickelson, who has apologized for his actions, was assessed a two-shot penalty under Rule 14-5. The U.S. Golf Association could have invoked Rule 1-2 or 33-7 and disqualified Mickelson. Those options are open to the R&A at Carnoustie.

“In the event of a similar situation this week, clearly, the first thing is you understand the facts because you never get the same situation and there will be lots of reasons,” Slumbers said. “We would make a decision based on the facts of any incident.”

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