After initially refusing to apologize for putting a moving ball at the US Open, Phil Mickelson expressed regret on Wednesday.
After initially showing no remorse for purposely putting a moving ball at the U.S. Open, Phil Mickelson texted reporters to express remorse for his actions.
“I know this should've come sooner, but it's taken me a few days to calm down," the text reads, per GOLF.com's Alan Shipnuck. "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."
On Saturday, in the third round of the U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills, Mickelson hit a putt that rolled past the hole and was taking a slope down a hill. Instead of letting the ball roll down the hill, Mickelson jogged to get on the other side of the ball and putted it back toward the hole while it was still moving.
He was assessed a two-stroke penalty and made a 10 on the hole, but his actions started a heated controversy in the golf world. Many thought he should have been disqualified under Rule 1-2, and many felt Mickelson ruined the spirit of the game by willfully breaking a rule out of frustration. After the round, Mickelson said he knew exactly what he was doing and that he didn't mean any disrespect, even telling people who were offended to "toughen up."
Shipnuck texted Mickelson in the immediate aftermath of the incident to ask if he wanted to speak further about it, and Mickelson said no. Mickelson, who finished T-48 at 16-over for the tournament, did not speak to reporters after his round on Sunday, but his wife Amy called it a "bad moment" and said Mickelson offered to withdraw from the tournament. She said Mickelson was assured by USGA officials that the two-stroke penalty was sufficient and appropriate, and thus there was no reason for him to withdraw.
Mickelson, 48, has finished second in the U.S. Open a record six times. It is the only major championship he has not won, and should he manage to win one, he'll become just the sixth player in history to win the career Grand Slam.