Around The Links: Rules Rules Rules !

 Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

There is no doubt that Phil Mickelson is one of the more exciting players on any tour, so what did you expect from him at the 13th hole on Sunday in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship? If he had taken a drop, being left-handed would still have left him un-playable, so he had to attempt the punch on as a righty. If he had pulled it off, we would be calling him a genius instead of second-guessing the shot. Come On Man!

Right not right for lefty Phil Mickelson

At the moment that Phil double hit the shot right-handed in Abu Dhabi, you could tell that he was disappointed, but 10 seconds later, he was back to being Phil. We tend to criticize some of the swash-buckling decisions he makes, but he gets over the failures more quickly than we, as fans do.

A day earlier, when he tried to pull off an unwise shot and his caddie, Jim “Bones” Mackay, cringed as he has done often over a 20-plus-year partnership, Phil Mickelson could only shrug in that Phil-being-Phil way that has endeared him to the masses in his Hall of Fame career.

“It’s just what I do,” Mickelson said.

Nitpicky rule derails Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy wasn’t the only one with questionable interpretation of the Royal and Ancient rules in Abu Dhabi this week. Sergio Garcia had an incident on Thursday that was later determined to not be a problem. Initially, the aging Spaniard was accused of tamping down a ball mark on the green. He was cleared of the infraction, but was upset that they thought he was a cheater.

There are some stupid rules in golf, and this is one of them,” McIlroy told reporters after he had to change his score from a 68 to a 70.

Bernhard Langer wins Champions Tour opener

The Senior Tour got it’s season underway this weekend as did the PGA in Hawaii. Bernhard Langer wins another one. If he could have just made that put at Kiawah Island back in 91!

“It’s a new year and my goal was to get over the hurdle and win as soon as possible,” said Langer, who won here five years ago. “I’m very pleased and extremely blessed to play golf like this. To be 22 under doesn’t happen very often.”

Park Inbee to skip LPGA season opener

The LPGA season gets underway this week in the Bahamas, but the Rolex Ranked number 1 player will not be there. The Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic will get the new season started on Thursday morning. The LPGA had a great 2013 season, and is looking forward to building on that momentum with another in 2014. Inbee Park’s quest for four consecutive majors, and the Solheim Cup were the high points of the season, but Lydia Ko turning professional is at the top of the early news in 2014.

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Tags: Golf PGA Phil Mickelson Rory McIlroy

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