It took all of one tournament after the U.S. Open for Phil Mickelson to give a little wink and a nod at his. Mickelson, who was not disqualified from that event (but probably should have been), assessed himself a two-stroke penalty at A Military Tribute at the Greenbrier on Sunday in Round 4.
Mickelson, playing the par-4 7th hole at Old White TPC, walked up and matted down some heavy rough just ahead of the tee box. You can clearly watch him commit the penalty in the video below.
The action is a violation of Rule 13-2, which states the following:
3-2. Improving Lie, Area of Intended Stance or Swing, or Line of Play
A player must not improve or allow to be improved:
- the position or lie of his ball,
- the area of his intended stance or swing,
- his line of play or a reasonable extension of that line beyond the hole, or
- the area in which he is to drop or place a ball ...
The part that applies to Mickelson is about improving his line of play. He had a discussion with a rules official and then gave himself the two-stroke penalty. Mickelson made a double bogey on the hole to go from 3 under at the time and 11 strokes behind the leaders to 1 under and 13 back.