Golf Talk Live - Jack Nicklaus Transcript Segment 4

By Golf Channel DigitalApril 5, 1999, 4:00 pm
(VIDEO FROM 1986 MASTERS)
JIM NANTZ, ANNOUNCER
TOM WEISKOPF, WHAT IS GOING THROUGH JACK'S MIND RIGHT NOW. HE HAS NOT EXPERIENCED THIS KIND OF A STREAK IN A LONG TIME.

TOM WEISKOPF
IF I KNEW THE WAY HE THOUGHT, I WOULD HAVE WON THIS TOURNAMENT. (LAUGH)

PETER KESSLER
SO WHAT WERE YOU THINKING ALL THOSE YEARS THAT NOBODY ELSE SUPPOSEDLY WAS?

JACK NICKLAUS
GOOD QUESTION. I DON'T KNOW. YOU KNOW, I DON'T KNOW WHAT THEY WERE THINKING. ALL I WAS THINKING ABOUT WAS WHAT I WAS DOING. AND UH, YOU KNOW,

I JUST KEPT MY MIND ON WHAT I WAS DOING AND I ALWAYS FELT LIKE UH .UH.

YOU KNOW, I ALWAYS PLAYED UH . UH, PEOPLE SAY I DIDN'T AGGRESSIVE GOLF. I WAS VERY CONSERVATIVE. AND I THINK THERE'S A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SMART GOLF AND DUMB GOLF.

AND DUMB GOLF TO ME IS BEING AGGRESSIVE WHEN YOU DON'T HAVE A CHANCE TO . TO BE AGGRESSIVE AND THE PENALTY'S TOO GREAT. SMART GOLF IS WHEN YOU TAKE YOUR CHANCES WHEN IT DOESN'T LOOK LIKE YOU HAVE TO TAKE A CHANCE.

IT JUST HAPPENS. IN OTHER WORDS, LIKE THE SHOT THERE AT 16 TAKING IT INTO THE HOLE. AND, YOU KNOW, THAT'S FAIRLY AGGRESSIVE TO TAKE IT RIGHT DEAD AT THE HOLE. BUT THE ONLY THING IS ALL YOU HAVE TO REALLY DO THERE IS TO HIT IT PAST THE BUNKER

AND THE BALL'S GONNA HIT THE BANK AND COME BACK DOWN TO THE HOLE. SO IT'S NOT A VERY HARD SHOT. BUT UH . THE UH .UH .

AND THAT'S JUST THE WAY I PLAYED. I PLAYED WITHIN MYSELF AND WHAT I KNEW I THOUGHT I COULD DO. AND THAT'S ALL I WAS THINKING.

PETER KESSLER
CONSIDERING THAT YOU HAD PLAYED VERY 'UN-NICKLAUS-LIKE' GOLF GOING INTO THAT TOURNAMENT, THE '86 MASTERS, AFTER A NOT SO THRILLING 1985, WHAT DID YOU ACCOUNT, WHAT DO YOU ATTRIBUTE FOR THE TURNAROUND THAT YOU WERE PLAYING YOUR KIND OF GOLF AGAIN.

JACK NICKLAUS
OH, PETER, I DON'T KNOW. I THINK THAT JUST HAPPENED TO BE A WEEK I WAS UH . IN '85 UH . (CHUCKLE) I GOT SO - I GOT ON A DIET AND GOT SO SKINNY I COULD HARDLY HIT A . I MEAN, I PROBABLY . MY CLOTHES JUST FELL OFF ME.

AND I HAD NO STRENGTH AT ALL. I REMEMBER THE U.S. OPEN .

PETER KESSLER
BUT YOU LOOKED GOOD.

JACK NICKLAUS
OH YEAH, LOOKED GREAT AND .BUT . I COULD HIT IT, I COULD HIT IT, ALMOST HIT IT OUT OF MY SHADOW.

AND UH, THEN '86 I STARTED OUT THE YEAR AND ACTUALLY UH . UH, HIT THE BALL PRETTY GOOD EARLY IN THE YEAR BUT COULDN'T MAKE A PUTT. AND UH,

THEN I THINK THAT AUGUSTA I STARTED UH . OR NO, IT WAS THE OTHER WAY AROUND, MAYBE I WASN'T HITTING THE BALL VERY WELL . AND CAN - WAS PUTTING, THEN I GOT TO AUGUSTA, AND I STARTED HITTING THE BALL BETTER AND THEN I FINALLY STARTED PUTTING.

BUT I GOT -- MY PUTTING GOT BETTER EVERY DAY. AND MY HITTING THE BALL GOT BETTER EVERY DAY. AND, YOU KNOW, FINALLY I JUST GOT INTO A POSITION WHERE, UH, I DID SOMETHING WHEN I HOLED THE PUTT AT 9, FOLLOWED UP WITH A PUTT AT 10,

AND A PUTT AT 11. AND WHAT HAPPENED THE REST OF THE YEAR AND WHAT HAPPENED IN '85 DIDN'T MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE. I WAS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE MASTERS. I HAD A CHANCE TO WIN. AND, YOU KNOW, YOU DON'T REMEMBER ALL THAT OTHER STUFF. YOU JUST GO PLAY WHAT YOU'RE DOING.

PETER KESSLER
PEOPLE FORGET, I THINK, SOMETIMES THAT YOU WEREN'T A HUNDRED SHOTS BACK WITH ONE ROUND TO GO NEEDING TO SHOOT 53. YOU WERE JUST 4 SHOTS BACK AND RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THAT THING.

JACK NICKLAUS
YEAH, IT WAS - IT'S NOT THAT I WAS ONLY 4 SHOTS BACK, THERE JUST WEREN'T THAT MANY PLAYERS AHEAD OF ME.

PETER KESSLER
THAT'S RIGHT

JACK NICKLAUS
WHAT WAS IT, HALF A DOZEN PLAYERS AHEAD OF ME OR SOMETHING. I DON'T . WHATEVER THERE WAS. BUT UH,

IT REALLY WASN'T THAT I HAD TO SHOOT A GREAT ROU - I HAD TO SHOOT A GREAT ROUND. BUT UH, IT WAS .

I JUST HAD TO GO DO IT. YOU KNOW . YOU KNOW, YOU JUST SAY, 'YEAH, OKAY. WELL I CAN SHOOT 65 AND WIN'. BUT YOU GOTTA GO SHOOT THE 65.

PETER KESSLER
YOU HAD BEEN USED TO OVER YOUR CAREER THAT WHEN YOUR NAME WOULD WORK ITS WAY UP TO THE TOP OF THE LEADERBOARD THAT THAT WOULD SHAKE A LOT OF GUYS AROUND YOUR NAME.

WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION, IF YOU HAD ONE AT ALL OR IT EVEN OCCURRED TO YOU AT THE TIME, THERE THEY GO THEY'RE FALLING OFF THE LEADERBOARD AGAIN BECAUSE MY NAME'S AT THE TOP.

JACK NICKLAUS
NO, I NEVER THOUGHT THAT. THEY . THEY HAVEN'T FALLEN OFF THE LEADERBOARD WITH MY NAME AT THE TOP SINCE 1980. (LAUGH)

AND CERTAINLY THEY WEREN'T FALLING OFF IN '86 . NOT BECAUSE MY NAME WAS UP THERE. BUT UH, THEY STARTED FALLING OFF THE LEADERBOARD BECAUSE IT WAS THE MASTERS AND YOU . AND

TO WIN THE MASTERS IS SOMETHING THAT THE OTHER PEOPLE WANTED TO DO TOO. AND I, I GUESS THAT MAYBE I HAD DONE IT BEFORE AND I KNEW HOW TO GET IT DONE.

PETER KESSLER
WE'VE GOT A YOUNG MAN ON THE PHONE WHO WAS BORN IN THE YEAR THAT YOU WON YOUR MOST RECENT MASTERS,

JACK NICKLAUS
OH, OKAY.

PETER KESSLER
14 YEAR OLD, JEFFREY. HOW ARE YOU SIR?

JEFFREY, CALLER FROM FLORIDA
YEAH, HI. UM, FIRST OF ALL, I'D LIKE TO SAY IT'S A PLEASURE TO TALK TO YOU MR. NICKLAUS.

JACK NICKLAUS
AND JEFFREY.

JEFFREY, CALLER FROM FLORIDA
AND I'D UH . I'D LIKE TO ASK YOU UH WHO YOU THINK IS THE - WHO YOU PICK FOR THIS YEAR'S MASTERS?

JACK NICKLAUS
WELL JEFFREY, IF I KNEW THE ANSWER TO THAT QUESTION, I WOULD BE RICH NEXT WEEK. UH, THERE ARE SO MANY GOOD PLAYERS OUT THERE TODAY. UH, I MEAN, I THINK IF ANYBODY UH WOULDN'T PICK BETWEEN, UH,

DAVID DUVAL AND TIGER WOODS, I THINK UH . IF YOU . YOU KNOW, THE 2 OF THEM ARE OBVIOUSLY HAVE GOT TO BE THE PLAYERS TO BEAT. BUT OBVIOUSLY, I THINK THE WAY UH . UH, DAVID'S PLAYING RIGHT NOW IT'S FANTASTIC.

HE UH . I HAD THE PLEASURE OF HAVING BOTH OF THOSE YOUNG MEN ON MY UH . UH, PRESIDENTS CUP TEAM LAST UH, LAST DECEMBER. UH, THEY UH . YOU KNOW, THEY'RE BOTH . THEY'RE BOTH VERY POSITIVE. THEY'RE BOTH GREAT PLAYERS. AND . AND ANY OF THOSE OTHER PLAYERS ON THAT TEAM WILL HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO WIN. I MEAN,

THERE'S SO MANY GOOD PLAYERS NOW THAT UH . UH, TO TRY TO PICK ONE OUT OF THE, OUT OF THE PACK IS PRETTY DIFFICULT.

UNKNOWN SPECTATOR
GET IN!

CROWD
YEAH! (APPLAUSE)

PETER KESSLER
THAT WASN'T BAD EITHER. THAT WAS THE PUTT FOR THE 59.

JACK NICKLAUS
YEAH, AS A MATTER OF FACT, I HAPPENED TO SEE THAT ON TELEVISION. I DON'T WATCH A LOT OF GOLF, PETER. BUT I DID HAPPEN TO SEE THAT. I MEAN, I TURN ON THE TELEVISION AND I , AND I SAID, 'HUH?'

YOU KNOW, I MEAN, WHAT WAS IT, MINUS 13 OR SOMETHING ON THE -- I SAID, 'NO, NO. COME ON, THAT'S GOTTA BE A MISPRINT.' SO I'VE GOTTA JUST SEE JUST A LITTLE BIT MORE TO SEE IF THAT'S NOT A MISPRINT OR WHATEVER IT WAS.

BUT UH, THAT WAS SOME ROUND.

PETER KESSLER
AND HOW MANY GOLF BOOKS HAVE YOU READ?

JACK NICKLAUS
PETER, OTHER THAN EDITING MY OWN BOOKS, I'VE NEVER READ A GOLF BOOK.

PETER KESSLER
WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK. AS WE LEAVE YOU FOR JUST A MOMENT, LET'S TAKE A LOOK AT JACK'S RECORD AT THE MASTERS FROM 1962, THE YEAR THAT HE TURNED PROFESSIONAL, THROUGH '86, HIS MOST RECENT VICTORY AT AUGUSTA NATIONAL.

25 APPEARANCES, 6 WINS, 4 TIMES RUNNER-UP, 15 TOP-5'S, AND 18 TOP-10'S.

DON'T GO AWAY.

GRAPHIC SHOWN:
MASTERS PERFORMANCES 1962 - 86
EVENTS: 25
WINS: 6
RUNNER-UP: 4
TOP-5'S: 15
TOP-10'S: 18 )

(BREAK)

NEXT SEGMENT
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V-i-n-d-i-c-a-t-i-o-n: Repeat gives Koepka credit he deserves

By Ryan LavnerJune 18, 2018, 2:08 am

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. – In an ironic twist Sunday, the last man to win consecutive U.S. Opens was tasked with chronicling Brooks Koepka’s final round at Shinnecock Hills.

Carrying a microphone for Fox Sports, Curtis Strange kept his composure as the on-course reporter. He didn’t cough in Koepka’s downswing. Didn’t step on his ball in the fescue. Didn’t talk too loudly while Koepka lined up a putt.

Instead, Strange stood off to the side, clipboard covering his mouth, and watched in awe as Koepka stamped himself as the best U.S. Open player of this next generation.

And so after Koepka became the first player in 29 years to take consecutive Opens, Strange found himself fourth in the greeting line near the 18th green. He was behind Koepka’s playing competitor, Dustin Johnson. And he was behind Koepka’s father, Bob. And he was behind Koepka’s caddie, Ricky Elliott.

But there Strange was, standing on a sandy path leading to the clubhouse, ready to formally welcome Koepka into one of the most exclusive clubs in golf.

“Hell of a job, bud,” Strange barked in his ear, above the din. “Incredible.”

That Koepka prevailed on two wildly different layouts, and in totally different conditions, was even more satisfying.

Erin Hills, in Middle of Nowhere, Wis., was unlike any U.S. Open venue in recent memory. The wide-open fairways were lined with thick, deep fescue, but heavy rain early in the week and the absence of any significant wind turned golf’s toughest test into the Greater Milwaukee Open. Koepka bashed his way to a record-tying score (16 under par) and over the past year has never felt fully appreciated, in large part because of the weirdness of the USGA setup.   


U.S. Open: Scores | Live blog | Full coverage


Koepka doesn’t concern himself with that type of noise, of course, but when he arrived at Shinnecock earlier this week he felt a sense of familiarity. The generous fairways. The punishing venue. The premium on iron play.

“It’s a similar feel,” Elliott said. “We said it all week.”

A new, quirky venue like Erin Hills might not have been held in high regard, but the rich history of Shinnecock? It demanded respect.

“He’s some player,” Strange said, “and I’m proud of him because there was some talk last year of Erin Hills not being the Open that is supposed to be an Open. But he won on a classic, so he’s an Open player.”

“This one is a lot sweeter,” Koepka said.

Those around the 28-year-old were shocked that he even had a chance to defend his title.

Last fall Koepka began feeling discomfort in his left wrist. He finished last in consecutive tournaments around the holidays, then underwent an MRI that showed he had a torn ligament in his left wrist.

Koepka takes immense pride in having a life outside of golf – he never watches Tour coverage on off-weeks – but he was downright miserable during his indefinite stint on the sidelines. He said it was the lowest point of his career, as he sat in a soft cast up to his elbow, binge-watching TV shows and gaining 15 pounds. The only players he heard from during his hiatus: Johnson, Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson.

“You just feel like you get forgotten,” Koepka said.

During the spring, Elliott would occasionally drive from Orlando to Jupiter, Fla., to check on his boss. “He was down in the dumps,” he said. “That sort of injury he had, it didn’t seem like there was going to be an end. There was no timeframe on it, and that was the most frustrating thing.”

After the Masters, Koepka told Elliott that his wrist was feeling better and that he was going to start hitting balls. Elliott brought his clubs to South Florida, and they played a few holes at The Floridian.

“He was hitting it right on the button,” Elliott said. “I said, ‘Are you sure you haven’t been practicing?’ He hadn’t missed a beat. I have no idea how he does it. He’s just a tremendously talented guy.”

In limited action before the Open, Koepka fired a trio of 63s, at TPC Sawgrass and Colonial. He’s never been short on confidence – as a 12-year-old he once told his dad that he was going to drop out of school in four years and turn pro – and he recently woofed to swing coach Claude Harmon III that he was primed to win sometime in May or June.

“I said to him on the range this morning, ‘You were on your couch in January and February, not really knowing if you were going to be able to play here,’” Harmon said. “I think that’s why it means so much to him. That’s one of the reasons that he kept saying no one was more confident than him, because to get this opportunity to come back and play and have a chance to win back-to-back U.S. Opens, he was going to take advantage of it as best he could.”

Koepka carded a second-round 66 to put himself in the mix, then survived a hellacious third-round setup to join a four-way tie for the lead, along with Johnson, the world No. 1 and his fellow Bash Brother.

As much as Johnson is praised for his resilience, Koepka has proven to be equally tough in crunch time, especially in this major. There’s no better stage for Koepka to showcase his immense gifts than the Open, an examination that tests players physically, mentally and even spiritually. But Koepka, like Johnson, never joined the growing chorus of complainers at Shinnecock. The closest he came to criticizing the setup was this: “I think the course is very close.”

Rather than whine, he said that he relished the challenge of firing away from flags. He accepted bad shots. He tried to eliminate double bogeys. Even after his wrist injury, Koepka showed no hesitation gouging out of the deep fescue, his ferocious clubhead speed allowing him to escape the rough and chase approach shots near the green, where he could rely on his sneaky-good short game.

“He has the perfect game to play in majors,” Harmon said. “He probably plays more conservatively in majors. We’re always joking that we wish he would play the way he does in majors every week. I just think he knows how important pars and bogeys are. It says a lot about him as a player.”

Johnson has many of the same physical and mental attributes, and they’ve each benefited from the other’s intense focus and discipline. They both adhere to a strict diet and are frequent workout partners, which even included a gym session on Sunday morning, before their penultimate pairing. They made small talk, chatting about lifting and how many of the Sunday pins were located in the middle of the green, but after they arrived at the course they barely said two words to each other.

“They’re good friends on and off the course,” Harmon said, “but they definitely want to kick the s--- out of each other.”

“That’s the way it’s supposed to be,” Strange said. “If they’re best buddies, well, you’re standing between me and the trophy. You don’t care much for him for 4 1/2 hours.”

There was much at stake Sunday, but none more significant than Koepka’s march on history. Squaring off head-to-head against the game’s best player, Koepka outplayed Johnson from the outset, going 3 under for the first 10 holes to open up a two-shot lead. And unlike at Erin Hills, where he pulled away late with birdies, it was his par (and bogey) saves that kept Koepka afloat on Nos. 11, 12 and 14.  

In the end, he clipped Fleetwood (who shot a record-tying 63) by one and Johnson by two.

“You’ve got to give him a lot of credit,” Strange said, shaking his head. “He’s got a lot of guts.”

As Koepka marched away to sign his card, Strange was asked if it was bittersweet to know that he’s no longer the answer to the trivia question, the last guy to go back-to-back at the Open.

“Heck no!” he said. “What are they going to do, take one away? I’m a part of a group. And it’s a good group. I hope it means as much to him as it has to me.”

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This time, Dad gets to enjoy Koepka's Father's Day win

By Rex HoggardJune 18, 2018, 1:39 am

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. – When Brooks Koepka won his first U.S. Open last year at Erin Hills the celebration was relatively subdued.

His family didn’t attend the ’17 championship, but there was no way they were missing this year’s U.S. Open.

“This year we booked something about five miles away [from Shinnecock Hills]," said Koepka’s father, Bob. "We weren’t going to miss it and I’m so glad we’re here.”

The family was treated to a show, with Koepka closing with a 68 for a one-stroke victory to become the first player since Curtis Strange in 1989 to win back-to-back U.S. Opens.


U.S. Open: Scores | Live blog | Full coverage


Koepka called his father early Sunday to wish him a happy Father’s Day, and Bob Koepka said he noticed a similar confidence in his son’s voice to the way he sounded when they spoke on Sunday of last year’s championship.

There was also one other similarity.

“Two years in a row, I haven't gotten him anything [for Father’s Day],” Brooks Koepka laughed. “Next year, I'm not going to get him anything either. It might bring some good luck.

“It's incredible to have my family here, and my dad loves golf. To be here, he loves watching. To share it with him this time, it will be a little bit sweeter.”

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Sunday drama won't overshadow USGA's issues

By Randall MellJune 18, 2018, 1:30 am

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. – It looked like a British Open.

It was playing like a U.S. Open.

Through two rounds, Shinnecock Hills was double trouble in the best kind of way.

It was a hybrid in the most appealing sense of golf course architecture’s ancient allure and its modern defenses.

Halfway through, the USGA was nailing the setup, with Dustin Johnson the only player under par in one of the toughest but fairest tests in recent U.S. Open memory.

This looked like it was going to be remembered as USGA CEO Mike Davis’ masterpiece, but even a Sunday to remember couldn’t trump a Saturday to forget.

Sunday’s drama - with the history Brooks Koepka made becoming the first player in three decades to win back-to-back U.S. Opens, with Tommy Fleetwood’s 63 equaling Johnny Miller’s final round record - could not restore faith being lost in the USGA’s ability to set up and manage this championship.

This U.S. Open ended with footnotes the size of headlines.

The issues arising Saturday with the USGA losing control of the course raised even more troubling questions about why this organization’s heavy hand can’t seem to avoid becoming as much a part of the story as the competition.


U.S. Open: Scores | Live blog | Full coverage


The controversy that was ignited Saturday when Phil Mickelson intentionally incurred a two-shot penalty by making a putting stroke on a moving ball also raised questions about the organization’s ability to fairly administer its own rules.

It’s a shame, because Davis has some good ideas.

His reimagined vision of this championship as the “ultimate test” makes sense as a better and more complete event. His ideas are designed to identify the game’s most complete player on America’s best courses better than any other major.

It’s just not working.

This year’s failure in the wake of the ’04 debacle at Shinnecock Hills is especially worrisome. Davis vowed it wouldn’t happen again. Somehow, some way, he let it happen again.

Maybe the old standards we’ve come to judge the U.S. Open upon are too high, impossible to meet with today’s more athletic player, high-tech coaching and space-age drivers, shafts and balls.

Nobody ever protected par better than the USGA, but maybe par can’t be properly protected anymore, without tricking up a course.

Because if USGA officials can’t make its exacting formula work at an architectural treasure like Shinnecock Hills, where they had it absolutely perfect for two days, you wonder if they can make it work at all.

The testament to how the USGA was nailing its formula wasn’t in what we heard the first two days. It was in what we weren’t hearing. Only one player was under par through Friday, but there wasn’t a complaint to be heard in the locker room or on the range.

They were wiping the smiles off players’ faces without infuriating them.

In that regard, the USGA was delivering a miracle.

The wonderful appeal Shinnecock Hills held as a U.S. Open/British Open hybrid at week’s start ended up being twisted into something else by week’s end. It stood as a symbol of the championship’s confusion over its proper identity.

Even with Sunday’s compelling storylines unfolding, players were still frustrated over setup.

Saturday was over the edge, with Davis admitting “there were parts of this, simply put, that were too tough.” He said winds were stronger than expected, but the winds weren’t that much different than were forecast.

So USGA officials softened the course for Sunday, with more overnight watering and more friendly hole locations.

That turned Shinnecock Hills into Jekyl and Hyde on the weekend.

Scoring told the story.

Rickie Fowler shot 84 on Saturday and 65 on Sunday. Fleetwood shot 78 and 63.

They weren’t alone, even though the weather wasn’t as dramatically different as the scores would indicate.

This wasn’t about the weather. It was about the course being manipulated in ways that frustrated players.

“They soaked the hell out of it,” Pat Perez said after tying for 36th. “They’ve got all the pins in the middle.

“It is supposed to gradually get to where it was Saturday afternoon. You don’t lose it on Saturday and then try to make up for it, soak the course and make it totally different.”

Brandt Snedeker was equally befuddled playing drastically different conditions in weather that wasn’t so drastically different.

“The thing that is unfortunate is that the guys that were playing the best golf this week took the brunt of it yesterday, when it should have been vice versa,” Snedeker said. “Some guys got robbed of a really good chance to win a golf tournament yesterday afternoon, which is not fair.”

There were other issues that continued to challenge faith in the USGA.

Despite later acknowledging it set up the course too tough in spots on Saturday, the USGA put players on the clock for slow play.

The Mickelson penalty also raised issues.

He got a two-shot penalty under Rule 14-5 (playing moving ball) when there was some outcry over whether he should have been penalized under Rule 1-2 (exerting influence), which would have opened the door to disqualification for a serious breach. The USGA rigorously defended 14-5 (playing moving ball) as the proper call.

John Daly wasn’t disqualified for striking a moving ball in a similar instance at the U.S. Open at Pinehurst in 1999. He also got a two-shot penalty, but there was a difference in the situations that might have justified Mickelson’s disqualification.

Daly said he intentionally hit a moving ball out of frustration, as protest over the USGA’s unfair hole locations.

Mickelson said he intentionally hit a moving ball on the 13th green Saturday at Shinnecock Hills to try prevent his ball from rolling off the green. He said he knew the rules and was intentionally breaking them to gain an advantage. He compared it to using the rules to get a better lie with a drop, but there’s a difference between using the rules to your advantage and breaking them to gain an advantage.

The difference in those motivations, as Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee pointed out, opened the interpretation of the violation as a serious breach worthy of disqualification.

The question of whether Mickelson’s manipulation of the rules was serious enough to invoke disqualification as a breach of etiquette under Rule 33-7 was dismissed by the USGA as inappropriate.

It should be noted that the USGA and R&A should be applauded for its monumental overhaul of the Rules of Golf, a rules modernization going into effect next year. It’s a welcomed simplification of the rules that required an exhaustive review.

This week’s complications show the unrelenting challenges they continue to tackle.

We leave this U.S. Open with history being made, with Koepka joining Ben Hogan and Curtis Strange as just the third players since World War II to win the title in back-to-back years.

We also leave hoping the USGA can deliver four days of next year’s U.S. Open at Pebble Beach as free of controversy as it delivered the first two days at Shinnecock Hills, because this year’s championship felt half baked.

Will Gray contributed to this report.

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Brandel rips USGA: 'There's no obvious leadership'

By Golf Channel DigitalJune 18, 2018, 1:29 am

The 2018 U.S. Open will certainly be remembered for Brooks Koepka's successful title defense.

But there's no doubt that it will also be remembered for Phil Mickelson's decision to hit a moving golf ball on Saturday, for the USGA's decision not to disqualify him, and for the governing body once again losing control of Shinnecock Hills over the weekend.

Speaking on "Live From the U.S. Open" on Sunday night, analyst Brandel Chamblee took the USGA and its leadership to task for more than just the inconsistent playing conditions this week.

His comments - edited and condensed for clarity - appear below:

"Something was amiss in a big, big way [at Shinnecock Hills]. I think the USGA has lost a lot of the trust of the golf world. They've done it for numerous reasons.

"On their watch, they missed COR – the rebound effect in drivers. They missed the rebound effect and the combination of the rebound effect [with] the ball. They missed it, on their watch. And now, the feeling is that they’re crying foul, even though it was on their watch. And so, essentially, the equipment companies got it done, by [the USGA’s] standards, legally.

"On their watch, there have been huge mistakes in major championships. … We well know this one (Shinnecock in 2018) – a colossal mistake all the way across the board. The golf course was bumpy the first day; they didn’t quite get that right. It was awful the third day. And today, in a different kind of way, it was far too easy.

"And then there’s penalties that they levy that make absolutely no sense, penalties that they don’t levy – not disqualifying Phil Mickelson yesterday. …

"There seems to be no obvious leadership, you know, to me. No obvious leadership heading in the right direction."