Phil Mickelson more realistic than the king and - also - Bryson DeChambeau. Lefty takes head-on at the latest decision by the USGA and R&A that have restricted the use of certain drivers.
Phil Mickelson, statements
"Stupid is as stupid does", tweets Mickelson using Forrest Gump to hit the two top international golf authorities.
And to say that their intervention was not intended for Phil as much as for the Bryson bomber. The USGA and R&A have long waged war on a certain type of golf. They don't like that all muscles and distance, the one where technique is progressively replaced by power.
In short, golf played today by Bryson DeChambeau and his disciples. In recent days, the possibility has been introduced to apply a new local rule (I stress local) from next January, which prohibits the use of sticks longer than 46 inches.
The intention is to limit the concept of the long-ball-and-putter. There are many reasons for such a choice: from the playing courses to be lengthened to remain competitive to the lesser media appeal of a golf course where power is everything.
The new regulation is not to be imposed always and in any case. The rule is designed for professional players: it is difficult to see it applied in our strawberry cup rather than in a president's cup. From 1 January 2022, whoever wishes will be able to adopt it in the race.
The PGA Tour made it known almost immediately that they wanted to introduce it. Bryson DeChambeau has not yet officially taken a position on the ad personam rule. Phil Mickelson raised his voice. The 51-year-old via social media tried to defend the bomber category.
A "category" still to be quantified considering that, according to the PGA Tour, only 3% of professionals use a driver longer than 46 inches. These three are DeChambeau, Mickelson and Frittelli. The “long” driver does well for Lefty.
With his 47.9-inch club, he won a historic PGA Championship at the age of 50 in June. "Nobody consulted the players," he said via Twitter after quoting Forrest Gump. His post became the subject of debate on social media (the first to answer him was a certain Lee Westwood).
For sure the battle for 48 inches is only just beginning. Mickelson will try to broaden the basis of his consensus, perhaps by convincing other colleagues to use the driver of discord. Lefty's crusade brings with it some background.
He and the USGA do not go hand in hand: Mickelson, the star of golf with the stars and stripes and for years number one rival of Tiger Woods, has won six career majors but never the US Open, the only Grand Slam tournament under the USGA's own aegis.
Despite the six second places, that title never taken home will remain a blemish for an American like Phil. And a couple of times he did not hide the "disappointment" for a race course prepared by the USGA but considered not up to the standard of a US Open.