RUSH: Oh, you want me to explain what Phil Mickelson did? Okay. I’m looking… By the way… Well, you know, that’s actually a good… That is a great example of precisely what I’m trying to convey here! Okay. U.S. Open, Shinnecock Hills over the weekend. By the way, congratulations to Brooks Koepka. Brooks Koepka is… He’s the champion. He’s from West Palm Beach. He’s 28 years old. The guy is it a stud. His parents… His dad, Bob, they’re all… Their family is from around here.
He was at Florida State. He won all kinds of championships as a college amateur. Second U.S. Open in a row. That’s only been done seven or eight times since the late 1800s. The last to do it was Curtis Strange in 1988-’89. Brooks lives up in Jupiter now where a lot of pro golfers live. Rickie Fowler, a bunch of them are up there. He’s just a great, great, great guy, and I wanted to mention that. But the story with Mickelson. It happened Saturday, and the USGA runs the U.S. Open, the United States Golf Association, and they’re not associated with any particular club.
They go in and they rent the club and they take it over for like four years before the Open. They’re in charge of setting it up — the pin placements, the length of the grass, how fast the greens are running — and the USGA claims to want to have a tournament, the U.S. Open, that “identifies” (that’s their word) the absolute best golfer of those four days, with the toughest reasonable test that can be designed. They say that their objective is for the champion to shoot par but not below it.
Well, last year, Koepka won the U.S. Open at their new course outside Milwaukee at 16 under. So the USGA said, “We’re not doin’ that again.” Most U.S. Open champions maybe win it with two under. Five under is absolute lowest that they want you to go. Normally the winner is over par. Brooks Koepka is the only player that shot even par; he was the champion. On Saturday, on Saturday… (chuckling) On Saturday, they lost control of some of the greens because of the pin placements, particularly on 13 and 15.
It was just you’d would hit a great shot into either of those holes and because the greens were so dry, the greens were not holding shots; you end up being penalized. The pin placements were such where the cups were that a putt that barely missed going by slowly could roll off the green! You could be farther away from the hole after hitting a really good putt just off line by a couple inches, and that’s what happened to Mickelson. They admitted at the end of the day on Saturday that they had goofed up, that they had not counted on that much wind.
How dare the wind blow as fast as it did! How dare the wind defy the USGA! That was their excuse. They hadn’t factored on that much wind. Well, how can anybody know what the wind’s gonna do? Anyway, Mickelson was playing not very well at all. He was very frustrated with the setup. He was frustrated with these hole locations. He thought it was unnecessarily punitive. So he hits a putt, an uphill putt. The hole is on the top of the little crest in the green.
He misses the putt and it starts rolling — and, if he would have let it go, it would have rolled all the way off the green, 30 feet away, maybe even more — and he just was frustrated. He said to hell with it! He was ticked off. He wasn’t playing well. This is the only tournament he hasn’t won to win the career grand slam, winning all the majors. So he stopped the putt. He tapped it again back towards the hole before it had stopped rolling. This is a no-no!
This is one of the supreme violations of elite, establishment behavior. This is like showing up at an elite wedding in blue jeans. You just don’t do this — and I watched the faux outrage manufactured about this in the sports media all Saturday. You should have seen the scrum. Mickelson finishes his round. He does an interview with Fox and Curtis Strange, and Curtis says (impression), “Do you feel bad, Phil? I mean, really. What you did! That… That… You realize how you just really embarrassed the game. You really assaulted the game. People feel really offended by that.”
“Well, I didn’t mean to offend anybody! I — I — I… Please don’t take it that way! I was just… You know, I know the rule, and I know I just assumed I’d have a better score if I take the two-stroke penalty by tapping the moving ball than letting it roll all over… I didn’t mean to offend anybody! Oh, no! I’m sorry.” So when he finished with Strange, there was a media scrum there shouting just like they were shouting at Trump the other day on the White House lawn.
“You reprobate! What do you think of the game of golf! Do you think you have lost all respect?” It’s totally people wrapped up about something that was really what people should have been laughing about. But golf! People take it so seriously. It is a game of honor, and it is a game of just pure, total decorum. Look, I understand the traditions. Don’t… I’m not trying to lampoon this. But the reaction to what Mickelson did was about a thousand times more than it needed to be. And then after his explanation, “I really don’t think Phil was telling the truth. I think he studied.
“I think he figured out his message. He figured out how he wanted to spin this, the best he could come up with, but I actually just think Phil lost his cool! And you’re not supposed to do that in golf! You’re not supposed to throw your club, not supposed to lose your cool, not supposed to violate a rule like that, just embarrass everybody. He owes the pope an apology, the world an apology for what he did!” I’m watching this, and I’m just… (sigh) It just was funny. I mean, we do this regarding practically everything. Oh, and what you know what? Twitter blew up. Oh, yeah! Twitter blew up because of what Phil Mickelson did.
Well, when Twitter blows up, for crying out loud, stop everything.