Sports

Phil Mickelson apologizes to US Open fan (no, not for that)


BROOKLINE, Mass. (AP) — Phil Mickelson’s tee shot on No. 3 landed within the tough to the appropriate, and when he arrived at his ball he noticed a person sitting on the bottom, holding an icepack to his proper temple, with medical workers gathered round.

Mickelson went over and gave the person a glove and apologized. One drawback: It was Sam Horsfield’s shot from the neighboring sixth gap that hit him.

“It’s just instinct,” Mickelson mentioned, drawing laughter from the gallery. “I would normally think it’s me.”

That’s how issues went for the six-time U.S. Open runner-up at The Country Club this week: a sequence of apologies, interrupted by an entire lot of dangerous golf pictures.

“Wish I had played better,” Mickelson, who declined to speak to reporters, mentioned in a transcript that was distributed by the USGA on Friday after he adopted a first-round 78 with a 3-over 73 to overlook the reduce.

The plus-11 end left him within the clubhouse forward of only one PGA Tour common and much beneath the projected reduce line of 4 over.

“It was OK. I had a good day,” he mentioned.

A six-time main champion who has turn into the face of the Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Golf tour, Mickelson was competing on American soil for the primary time in additional than 4 months. But if the followers held his money seize in opposition to him, they didn’t let it present.

“Phil, liven it up!”

“Long live Phil!”

“You’ve got work to do!”

“A 62 makes the cut, Phil!”

“You and me forever, baby!”

“Call it a comeback, Phil!”

And followers in a tent subsequent to the sixth tee sang him “Happy Birthday.”

“The fans here have always been terrific, and they really support all sports,” Mickelson mentioned, in line with the transcript. “I love it when we bring golf here because they create a really special atmosphere.”

But Mickelson had little else to smile about. Starting on the tenth gap, he made back-to-back-to-back bogeys on Nos. 13-14-15 and wanted a 15-footer to avoid wasting par on the third gap after practically winding up within the gallery along with his drive.

He wasn’t as fortunate on No. 4, a 493-yard par 4, the place he missed a 12-foot par putt and left himself virtually as a lot coming again for bogey. But the 52-year-old left-hander — his birthday was really Thursday — adopted with back-to-back birdies.

He sank a 43-foot putt from the entrance apron on the fifth gap and an excellent longer one on the sixth, each instances acknowledging the gang’s cheers with a thumbs-up and wave. On his method to the seventh tee, he gave his ball to a 9-year-old lady standing by the ropes.

“I enjoyed the week,” mentioned Mickelson, who left Brookline nonetheless needing a U.S. Open victory to finish his profession Grand Slam. “It was spectacular to come back to such a historic course, and I thought the setup was remarkable. Just really showcased what a special place this is.”

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