Does USGA's Response To Mickelson Mean We Need A New Rule Of Golf?

That's the case's Dylan Dethier makes quite well. It comes after Lee Westwood posted this Tweet in response to hearing Phil Mickelson say he'd been thinking of stopping his moving ball at Augusta National's 15th over the years.

The Tweet:

Dethier writes of the USGA ultimately citing 14-5 over 1-2, rightfully so based on a strict interpretation of their rules and the "precedent now set". 

The so-called Phil Rule will be simple: anyone who intentionally strikes a moving ball will be disqualified.

Mickelson entered the week hoping to add his name to the USGA's record books — he'll have to settle for its rulebooks. Otherwise the awkward jogging alley-oop will just be left hanging there as a strange loophole option, tempting players in tight spots. "I took the two-shot penalty and moved on," Mickelson said.

I would normally argue that the honesty of the players and fear of being ostracized by their peers would make this unnecessary. But with the USGA coming to Mickelson's rescue week without even a single word of disdain for his behavior, and in a world of backstopping and players snickering at Mickelson's actions, it's time to cook up the new rule before this shameful stuff happens again. 

But this is the place we've reached in golf: to explore such a decision in the next rules of golf, the USGA would first have to come to terms with not condemning the behavior in any way that might deter repeat offenders. Strange times.