Phil Mickelson vows to 'act a little better' on the golf course: 'I do a lot of dumb stuff'

Devil Ball Golf
Phil Mickelson reflected on his “rough month” Thursday ahead of next week’s Open Championship, vowing to “act a little better” after a pair of rules violations. (AP)
Phil Mickelson reflected on his “rough month” Thursday ahead of next week’s Open Championship, vowing to “act a little better” after a pair of rules violations. (AP)

Phil Mickelson can be polarizing.

The five-time major champion is beloved by his fans for his bravado and fearlessness on the course while his detractors bemoan him as reckless and fake.

But one thing most golf fans can agree on is that Mickelson is almost always entertaining. Whether it’s this remarkable shot from the pine straw behind a tree en route to a 2010 green jacket or his utter collapse at Winged Foot on 18 to give away the U.S. Open in 2006, “Lefty” in contention is a must watch.

With his game in decline at age 48, those must-see moments have consisted mostly of the bone-headed variety lately. He followed up his now infamous decision to hit a moving putt at the this year’s U.S. Open with a self-reported rules violation at last week’s Greenbrier Classic.

 “I’m not sure what I just did was legal,” Mickelson told the others in his group on Sunday.

It wasn’t.

Mickelson spoke candidly with reporters about his miscues Thursday at the Scottish Open, a warmup for next week’s Open Championship.

“I’ve had a rough month,” Mickelson said. “I haven’t been my best. I’m working at trying to fix that.

“I made a big mistake [at the U.S. Open] and I wish I could take it back, but I can’t. There’s not much I can do about it now other than just try to act a little better.”

To his credit, Mickelson owned his mistakes while putting them in the context of his 25-year career.

“The reason why this has actually been easier is it was my own fault,” Mickelson said. “The backlash is my own fault. It’s much easier to deal with than some of the times where I have not been involved in the decisions and had to deal with that.

“You have to be accountable for yourself. I do a lot of dumb stuff. I have these moments where I’m in a cloud, not really sure what I’m doing.”

Mickelson is not expected to contend at Carnoustie next week. But one thing is for sure. Golf fans will tune in to see what he does next.

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