Phil Mickelson met face-to-face with the media this week for the first time since the U.S. Open, expanding upon his written apology and saying that hopefully, him hitting a moving ball on the 13th green during the third round will be something to laugh about in due time.
“It took me a few days to kind of let my anger and frustration of the whole thing subside to where I could see clearer that it wasn’t the greatest moment,” Mickelson told the gathered media. “And since I apologized, the best thing I can do now is help promote the game in a positive way, which is why I’m here today.”
“Here” was the Chicago Bears’ Soldier Field for the KPMG Windy City Skills Challenge benefitting youth and the company’s Future Leaders Program. Mickelson threw footballs with Bears’ quarterback Chase Daniel, shot free throws with Bulls point guard Kris Dunn and Sky guard Diamond DeShields and gave impromptu lessons to junior golfers in attendance.
— KPMGWomensPGA (@KPMGWomensPGA) June 25, 2018
While the event was for a good cause, most media in attendance were there to get a further explanation for Saturday at Shinnecock, which Mickelson gave.
“It wasn’t the right decision,” Mickelson told Golf Channel’s Todd Lewis. “It wasn’t the smart decision.”
Asked whether or not he thinks his actions at the U.S. Open would impact his legacy, Mickelson said, “I certainly wasn’t thinking of that at the time, but I have pretty thick skin. I will probably hear about this for some time. Fortunately, I can take it and hopefully at some point we will be able to laugh about it.”
Finally, Mickelson allowed what many had speculated — did he really hit the moving ball with the Rules of Golf in mind and not out of frustration — and would he do it again?
“At the time, I didn’t really care about the stroke difference,” he said.