Phil Mickelson says some PGA Tour players are ‘loose’ in ball marking
Mickelson tried to avoid speaking about Lexi Thompson specifically after she ended up losing the first women’s major of the season for incorrectly replacing her golf ball and earning a four-stroke penalty. He instead turned the attention to top PGA Tour players.
“I know a number of guys on tour that are loose with how they mark the ball and have not been called on it,” Mickelson said. “I mean, they will move the ball two, three inches in front of their mark, and this is an intentional way to get it out of any type of impression and so forth. And I think that kind of stuff needs to stop.”
Under R&A rules, replacing a marked ball in the wrong spot incurs a two-stroke penalty. Mickelson said it should be up to the tour to speak to those players about more precise marking of balls.
He said “I don’t really want to expand on what I’ve already said. I feel like we’ve all kind of been a little lax at times in the markings of our golf ball and I hate to see it cost somebody a major championship because of that. But yet I would like to see that type of nuance of the game improved on both tours, especially ours. So I’m not really trying to comment on that specific situation, even though it’s what brought this to the forefront.”
Mickelson’s comments have brought the issue more into focus, and it will be interesting to see if players are called on for incorrectly replacing a marked ball in the future.