DUBLIN, Ohio – Citing mental fatigue following an opening-round 7-over 79, Phil Mickelson has withdrawn from the Memorial Tournament.
“I feel like it's the responsibility of a player to see through your commitment and finish the tournament,” he maintained. “I'm kind of overruling that just a touch because I'm trying to think big picture on what's the best way for me to get ready for the [U.S.] Open.”
Despite initial thoughts to the contrary, it appears Mickelson will not be subject to punishment from the PGA Tour. According to the 2012 PGA Tour player handbook, Article IV, Section A-8 states: “Fatigue will not be considered a valid reason for withdrawing.” However, this particular rule applies only to players who withdraw after committing to a tournament and prior to beginning the opening round or those who withdraw during a tournament round.
After the completion of a tournament round, no reason for withdrawal is necessary.
The PGA Tour does not publicly release information on player fines and suspensions.
This is Mickelson’s first withdrawal from a PGA Tour event that he started since this same event in 2007 – and the first time he can remember that he’s bowed out without physical injury.
“The course here is in such great shape,” he said after the round. “It's a beautiful way to get ready for the U.S. Open. But I'm hitting it so poorly. … I have to look at what's best for me to play in the U.S. Open and I'm going to take the next few days to kind of rest up. I'll probably go see [swing instructor] Butch [Harmon] and see if I can get things straightened out.”
Among the reasons Mickelson listed for the mental fatigue were an increased playing schedule and a recent vacation with wife Amy to Italy and France.
“We had a great time,” he said. “But I think I probably just went a little bit overboard last month, and it has nothing to do with playing poorly and so forth, but I do think I need to get rested to play my best for the [U.S.] Open.”
On Thursday, Mickelson’s round started poorly and never improved.
After a par on the first hole, Mickelson double-bogeyed the second and followed with a bogey on the third. He played the next eight holes in 2 under, but closed his day by playing the final seven holes in 7 over, including scores of 5 on each of the last six.
When asked to recall the last time he had accomplished that dubious distinction, Mickelson quipped, “I was probably 5.”
The 79 eclipsed his previous high score of the season by two strokes and was the worst total since he posted the same number in the third round of the 2004 Canadian Open.
That other Rory – Rory Sabbatini – played his best golf in the worst weather Friday at the Memorial and made a surprising appearance atop the leaderboard. Right behind him was a Tiger Woods that looke... Read More
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