Phil Mickelson was asked about Lexi Thompson’s penalty situation Tuesday, and his response had our jaws on the floor. He said has seen golfers get away with what Lexi Thompson got penalized for, a four-stroke penalty in the end that cost her the chance to win over the weekend.
But even more eye-opening than that, Lefty says many guys on tour intentionally place their balls incorrectly after marking them.
Phil Mickelson on the Lexi Thompson situation 🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/PCpW1sEAGG
— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelTAN) April 4, 2017
As far as stunning revelations go, this is at the top of the list.
Thompson did not cheat and did not place her ball anywhere near even one inch away from where it was before it was marked. Mickelson’s right. The two-shot penalty was ridiculous. The two additional penalized shots for unknowingly signing an incorrect scorecard were even more ridiculous.
But Mickelson actually brings up another problem.
Fans should not be calling penalties in. They can’t do it in any other sport. Golf should be no different. If golf wants referees, it should hire referees. If it wants to be self policing, then it shouldn’t take calls from fans calling in.
The problem with fans calling in is two-fold. One, as has been said many times, fans can’t call an NFL stadium to say that “No. 78 held No. 94 on third-and-three.”
Two, a small percentage of golf shots are actually televised. Even during final rounds with the leaders, it’s not uncommon for TV to go to another golfer, or to a commercial, instead of showing a short putt. If the putt is missed, they’ll show it. If it’s not, they’ll often just let it go unaired.
These are generally the shots that Mickelson is referring to. So, the golfers who manage to not be on TV are given a strange and clearly unfair advantage.