Phil Mickelson's silent protest
By mustang6560 on 6/6/12
Last week at the Memorial Tournament, Phil Mickelson withdrew following his first round 7-over-par 79. The four-time major champion cited mental fatigue and said he needed to start his preparations for the U.S. Open in earnest.

Well, it seems as though mental fatigue was not the only reason Lefty decided to bow out early from The House That Jack Built. It was reported in the days following Phil's withdrawal that he was not happy with the way the PGA Tour was enforcing its new cell phone policy. The policy, which was adopted last year, allows fans to bring their cell phones to the course as long as they don't take pictures and only make calls in "designated" areas.

But, apparently, fans following Phil's group last Thursday (with Masters Champion Bubba Watson and Rickie Fowler) were using their cell phones to take pictures. So he sent PGA Tour Commissioner a text during the round expressing his frustration.
According to four people with direct knowledge, Mickelson sent a text message to PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem from the sixth fairway at Muirfield Village suggesting that a lack of policing fans with cellphones was getting out of hand.

Mickelson withdrawing for what he called "mental fatigue" is not a Tour violation. Players can withdraw for any reason after completing a round. Using a phone to send the commissioner a text is another matter, though the Tour doesn't disclose any disciplinary actions.

If nothing else, one official said it got the Tour's attention.
Maybe Colin Montgomerie was right - maybe British golf fans are better than American golf fans.

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Image via Flickr, nostalgic_fordisaster

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[ comments ]
legitimatebeef says:
Here comes Phil to save us from ourselves once again.
Duke of Hazards says:
If only the majority of the masses weren't complete morons and would simply turn off the 'click' sound that the phone app makes and shut off their other notification sounds, it wouldn't be a big deal. They need an idiot scanner at the gate.

Or... maybe someone needs to develop an app specifically for silencing your phone camera and other notification sounds on your phone for you. Oh wait.... there are already dozens of those readily available for free. Okay, back to the idiot scanner.
bducharm says:
The Tour needs to have the Augusta security at EVERY stop! They were tremendous! NO CELL PHONES ON THE COURSE!!!!
AbsoluteZero says:
Good for Phil. Phones don't belong on the course at all. I say they just outlaw them.
joe jones says:
Phil...Great imagination..Wonderful way to indicate your displeasure. What the hell are cell phones doing at a tournament anyway.Don't allow them.
bkuehn1952 says:
@AbsoluteZero and joe: If phones don't belong on a golf course (a sentiment I share with you), Phil shouldn't be texting on his smart phone in the middle of the tournament. I think Phil's position is that cell phone use limitations must be enforced and not that phones need to be banned.

I go with Duke's suggestion of having an idiot scanner at the gate ... wait ... that will greatly reduce the gallery numbers. Guess we need to find a middle road between idiot scanners and an outright ban. ;)
lcgolfer64 says:
"According to four people with direct knowledge, Mickelson sent a text message to PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem from the sixth fairway at Muirfield Village suggesting that a lack of policing fans with cellphones was getting out of hand."

I just find that ironic is all...
mustang6560 says:
@lcgolfer64- I think that was the point.
snuffyword says:
They were using cell phones as cameras. Unless one gets an incoming call or text from a vibrating phone, we wouldn't be seeing so many phones and the distractions.
coojofresh says:
i'm not the best golfer in the world...i can play a bit & good at times, but is it THAT serious??? like is the Crank ringtone going off while they are swinging? i like the policy. you should be able to bring your celly, but the people that hold up the 'Quiet' signs need to get on their TSA & start kicking people out that are using their cell phones when not in a designated area. i think Phil is being a douche. i mean i know Tiger had more people around him with cell phones & he won the freaking tourney bro. #getreal #getsomejordansandgetoverit
lcgolfer64 says:
Sorry Mustang, was just being 'captain obvious' as the gf says to me all the time...
srogers13 says:
Phil was playing with Rickie Fowler and Bubba Watson, and both of them also made comments at how bad it was with people using the cell phone cameras without turning it into silent mode. And I heard them make the comments Thursday evening after their round.

They said about 50 phones were confiscated from people following that group, but about 100 were taken from people following Tiger's group. And about how bad it has gotten, Tiger had even made comments about the problem during The Players' Championship.
joe jones says:
Unexpected sound in the middle of a swing can be like a gong going off, I'm pretty oblivious to outside distractions but I have friends that go nuts. They are not being jerks but it really bothers them. Compound that with the pressure of competition and I don,t think Phil is being unrealistic. Tournaments used to provide a lock box system for checking phones but when cell phone companies started to sponsor the events that went out the window.There has to be a happy medium somewhere.
coojofresh says:
you cannot take phones away. golf needs all the tweets, the status updates, and the text word of mouth. young kids generally still think it is stupid & boring. saying no cell phones makes it even worse. idk again, i am not a pro so maybe that is the worst thing ever created on the planet, but he didn't have to quit & tweet the dude because it is because the fans he even has a job & obviously the fans what their phones so they can talk about him being a big left handed baby.
falcon50driver says:
wtf are you blathering about?
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