Gullane, Scotland — Phil Mickelson wishes he could take back the moment when he swatted a moving golf ball at the U.S. Open.
“But there’s not much I can do about it now other than just try to … act a little better,” Mickelson said on Thursday at the Scottish Open.
In his most extensive comments since he purposely violated the Rules of Golf at Shinnecock Hills, Mickelson said whatever backlash he receives from players and the public was his own doing.
Mickelson was sliding far out of contention in the third round of the U.S. Open when he chased after a bogey putt on the 13th hole and hit it back toward the hole to keep it rolling off the front of the green.
He was assessed a two-shot penalty amid criticism that he should have been disqualified for such a willful violation.
In his next tournament, Mickelson tamped down tall grass just beyond the tee box at The Greenbrier to play a low iron shot, and then immediately realized it might have been a violation.
He summoned a rules official, told him what happened and was penalized.
“It’s not been my best month,” said Mickelson, who opened with an even-par 70 and was in danger of missing the cut.
Luke List leads the tournament with a seven-under 63.
Steve Wheatcroft shot a career-best 9-under 62 on Thursday to take a one-shot lead in the John Deere Classic in Silvis, Ill.
Wheatcroft birdied seven of the last nine holes to finish a shot ahead of Michael Kim.
Johnson Wagner, Nick Taylor, Andres Romero and Joel Dahmen shot opening-round 64s.
Kenny Perry and Mike Small shot 7-under 65s to share a one-stroke lead in the first round of the Constellation Senior Players Championship on Thursday in Highland Park, Ill.
Bart Bryant, Glen Day and 2015 U.S. Senior Open champion Jeff Maggert were one stroke back in the fourth of five majors on the PGA Tour Champions schedule.
Senior Women’s Open
Elaine Crosby shot a 3-under-par 70 at Chicago Golf Club for the lead after one round of the inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open in Wheaton, Ill.