Phil Mickelson had a bit of trouble on 18 at Fortinet. A series of shots were not going his way on Friday and ended up with his shot between a spectator tent and a penalty area. Before he could make his way over, a marshal picked up his ball and held it to give back to Mickelson.
For any other golfer, this may have resulted in a penalty. However, Phil argued that the shot should be penalty-free through Rule 9.6 (“Ball Lifted or Moved by Outside Influence”).
An Old Pro
The way Phil argued his case (and ultimately won) shows that he is and old pro. One who has been in this situation before.
“The way he was going through it, you could see he’s been in that type of situation before,” analyst Trevor Immelman said on the Golf Channel broadcast. “Experienced.”
“He basically directed them,” announcer Terry Gannon said. “OK, here’s what we do.”
Here’s how the exchange played out:
“Naughty, naughty, naughty,” the marshal said as she held the ball.
“Where did it end up roughly?” Mickelson asked her.
“So like right about here,” the marshal said as she tossed the ball to the ground.
“No, no, no, don’t throw it,” Mickelson said.
“OK,” the marshal said.
“Just hold onto it,” Mickelson said.
After consulting with an official, Phil was able to place his ball on the other side of the tent. As a result, he was closer to the green.
“She said roughly, yeah,” said Mickelson, speaking to both the official and the Marshal who picked up the ball. “And I get a new one, so I’m going to go ahead and let her keep it. There’s a souvenir for you. Have a great day.”
“Ah the adventures of Phil Mickelson,” said announcer, Terry Gannon on the Golf Channel broadcast. “Never dull. His ball was picked up initially and so that ensued and he does get to bring it back on this side.”