Mickelson: 'Embarrassed and disappointed by my actions'

Four days later, and the enduring memory of this year’s U.S. Open — you remember, the one Brooks Koepka won — remains Phil Mickelson’s inexplicable slap-n’-chase move at the 13th hole on Saturday.

Mickelson’s strange move

What did Phil do that was so wrong? A quick visual refresher:

Mickelson got tagged with a two-stroke penalty, and later sounded an unrepentant note, saying he only chased down the rolling ball because he didn’t want to have to play from off the green once again. It was the kind of bush-league move that would have gotten you screamed at in your foursome, and the fact that Mickelson did it while at the U.S. Open struck many as inconceivable.

“Embarrassed and disappointed”

Mickelson’s initial approach was to tell anyone offended by the move to “toughen up.” But according to his wife Amy, he offered behind the scenes to withdraw from the tournament entirely. And Wednesday, Mickelson texted many reporters a formal apology:

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

Mickelson finished the U.S. Open at T48, 15 strokes behind Koepka, so it’s not like he played himself out of a championship. But his actions set the golf world ablaze all the same, putting the sanctity-of-the-game types at odds with the it’s-all-just-a-game folks. Considering he’s got a foot in both camps, of course it would be Phil that would kick off this split. We’re done, but we’re not done, if you know what we mean.

Phil Mickelson says he’s “embarrassed and disappointed,” apologizes for moving ball incident at U.S. Open. (AP)
Phil Mickelson says he’s “embarrassed and disappointed,” apologizes for moving ball incident at U.S. Open. (AP)

Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.

More from Yahoo Sports:
Reporter caught reacting to Caps coach’s resignation on live TV
Senegal scores most bizarre, controversial goal of World Cup so far
Mexican star announces grandfather died after country’s historic upset
NHL player traded twice in one morning amidst fiancee’s cyberbullying scandal