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THE KILTED CADDIE

What a Complete Shinnecock The Kilted Caddie comments on USGA’s ruling after Phil Mickelson hit a moving ball on the 13th hole during the third round of the U.S. Open. HK GOLFER・JUL 2018

© USGA/J.D. Cuban

Phil Mickelson watches a shot from the rough on the ninth hole during the third round of the U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club

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AFP/Getty Images

Even the live TV commentators were shocked by what Mickelson has done

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HK GOLFER・JUL 2018

The imagination goes wild with what the came would become. But I feel that they shall definitely reside in the imagination after Phil’s dauntingly embarrassing faux pas and extreme rush of blood. And thank goodness for that. It is nothing short of a disgrace that the golfing authorities, here the USGA, did not immediately disqualify him. I am indeed f labbergasted by the comments made by John Bodenhamer, the most senior bod at the USGA. Firstly, he astonishingly claimed that it was not an ‘extreme’ situation. Of course, it was. It’s never before occurred in the history of professional golf. Maybe, sir, we have differing understandings of the word ‘extreme’, but I don’t reckon it’s a word with that subtle nuance. I loved the shocked response of the live TV commentators who were obviously so taken aback they came out with the following rather prosaic reaction ‘Wo, wo, wow! That’s stunning,’ said one of the commentators who was followed by a short silence when the other amazingly added ‘that’s stunning’. Well, guys, I suppose indeed it was ‘stunning’ as Phil rather adeptly stunned his ball like a good reverse screw snooker shot. However, I think I would have come out with something a bit more acerbic like ‘Bloody hell Phil, Are yee

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aff ye’r heed? Whit are yee playing at?’ Yes, ‘stunning’ somewhat downplays the magnitude of what Phil did. It was undoubtedly the most bizarre and outlandish thing ever to have occurred on live golf TV coverage. However, we t hen come to t he of f icia l reac t ion to t he i ncident. Joh n Bodenhamer incredibly stated that ‘Phil d id n’t purposef u l ly def lect or stop t he ball which is talked about in rule 14.5. He played a moving ball.’ And so as such Mr Bodenhamer intimates that Phil didn’t incur a serious breach of the rule which would have entailed disqualification. What John? ‘Gods my life’ (shouted rather irritably and volubly) is all I can say to that comment, sir. That’s complete drivel in the wider context of a l l t his. A nd l isten, I a m no A lber t Einstein, but if we are going down that road for Phil’s ball to have reversed direction it means that he did technically and physically stop it, albeit he imparted it with such a force and skill that it travelled back towards the hole and just missed it. It was, in fact, a most artful golf stoke. But this is not a circus, and I’m afraid that John Bodenhamer has behaved like a sycophantic clown here. So please, let ’s not get caught up in semantics and the nitty gritty of the golf rules. It was a blatant and indeed flagrant

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abuse and breach of golf etiquette and should have been shown the red card (No VAR required). Steve Elkington, a previous U.S. Open winner, thinks so and I’m definitely with him on this. Phil’s playing partner, A ndrew ‘Beef ’ Johnston (I suppose he had to be playing with him!), didn’t provide an awful lot of objectivity or serious gravitas to the situation either I’m afraid when he later tweeted, ‘It’s so hard out there. He didn’t mean it. It just happened. End of story. Ha ha.’ Well, who needs to go to a circus when you have such insights f lying around the world golf stage? Yes, Beef I do appreciate that it was rather tough out there. However, I’m betting that Phil did mean it as he’d been thinking about doing that sort of thing for years. And ‘it just happened’? Well yes, it sure did Beef. Goodness gracious I hope I wouldn’t be relying upon you as an expert witness in any major trial. A f ter a few d ay s , Ph i l d id , i n fac t , apologise for his behaviour, and I think that the USGA should consider one also. And Beef, you should possibly and most probably leave your thoughts elsewhere. That’s drunken hamburger queue stuff. Please go to thekiltedcaddie.com to find out more about The Kilted Caddie.

© USGA/Darren Carroll

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h Phil, oh Phil, oh Phil! W hat on ear t h was going through your mind on the 13th at Shinnecock H i l l s t o m a ke yo u j o g across the green and putt back that moving ball? It is the US Open not a kid’s holiday camp golf outing. Yes strict ly, according to t he narrow confines of rule 14.5 you can (and did!) get away with this and take a 2-shot penalty. But let ’s ref lect upon this. Imagine this behaviour becoming the norm so that golf would go down the sad road of soccer and their professional foul nonsense? No, my man. We are an honourable game played by honourable gentlemen (well apart from an aforementioned biffing in the Muirfield locker room of course). St utter, st utter move on quickly. But imagine the can of worms it would open up? I mean take Sergio for example. He may have well decided to have dashed a nd sca le t he water on t he 15t h in h is first round at Augusta and so stop his ball spinning back off that somewhat slippery green. It’s basically what Phil Mickelson d id . A lb eit S erg io wou ld have had to have shifted pretty adroitly and made an Olympian leap. However, you take my point.

Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston was the major witness to Mickelson’s ‘putt-gate’

HK GOLFER・JUL 2018

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