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'Embarrassed' Phil Mickelson apologises after US Open controversy

Mickelson deliberately broke the rules by hitting a moving ball during his third round.

Phil Mickelson (file pic).
Phil Mickelson (file pic).
Image: Peter Byrne

FIVE-TIME MAJOR golf champion Phil Mickelson has apologised for hitting a moving ball in Saturday’s third round of the US Open in a text message to Golf.com on Wednesday.

The 48-year-old left-hander, six times an Open runner-up in the only major he has never won, sent a text message blaming his anger and frustration on a difficult day for his major rules violation.

“I know this should’ve come sooner, but it’s taken me a few days to calm down,” Mickelson wrote to the website.

“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.”

The incident took place on the 13th hole at Shinnecock on a blustery day when some players said the US Golf Association “lost the course” trying to make conditions so difficult.

Mickelson hit a putt that was going to roll off the 13th green but chased after the ball and hit it back toward the hole while it was still moving.

He was given a two-stroke penalty for the violation but many suggested he should have been disqualified for the move.

The report said Mickelson’s wife, Amy Mickelson, said her husband had offered to disqualify himself from the event to USGA president Mike Davis.

Mickelson eventually shared 48th place at 16 over par for the tournament.

© – AFP 2018

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