Just weeks after his U.S. Open breach of etiquette and subsequent claim to have used the rules to his advantage, Phil Mickelson breached the same rules he purported to know so well during Sunday's the Greenbrier Classic.
The violation, which I'm pretty sure 99.9% of PGA Tour pros know is a no-no:
The conversation with official Robby Ware:
It's fascinating to see the PGA Tour on all of its social media accounts billing this as a player calling a penalty on himself. It's an unusually desperate and ignorant position to take from the land of #LiveUnderPar (well except in this case).
To review: Mickelson asked a question sensing he might have violated the rules and likely anticipated someone spotting the violation on the PGA Tour Live telecast. He got the explanation from Robby Ware and was subsequently penalized after Ware double checked, out of kindness.
So please, whether this "called a penalty on himself" nonsense is born out of ignorance or just a marketing effort to show that living under par means calling penalties on oneself, do not lump this incident with the many folks who have called penalties that no one else could see or possibly have known about. Especially since many of those incidents, which we rightly hold up for being incredible displays of integrity, happened because the player could not live with themselves thinking they had violated the rules.
Phil's case was a simple act of ignorance. He would have been assessed a penalty after a those monitoring the telecast would have passed the word along of his silly-stupid move.
Unless, of course, no one was watching PGA Tour Live. A very real possibility.