Phil Mickelson conceded he does “a lot of dumb stuff” after he opened with a 70 to lie seven shots off the pace in the Scottish Open at Gullane.
As Graeme McDowell’s hopes of winning one of three spots in The Open faded when he shot a one-under-par 69 to lie a shot outside the projected cut mark, Mickelson confessed his US Open meltdown was a huge error of judgement.
“I made a big mistake and I wish I could take it back, but I can’t,” said Mickelson, who was also penalised for tapping down some long grass in front of a tee during the Greenbrier Classic last week.
“There’s not much I can do about it now other than just try to act a little better.
“The thing about this is that throughout my career, 25 years, there have been a lot of times where I have had to be accountable for decisions I did not make.
“And the reason why this has actually been easier is it was my own fault. The backlash is my own fault. So it’s much easier to deal with. I do a lot of dumb stuff.”
He added: “I have these moments where I’m like in a cloud, if you will. I’m not really sure what I’m doing or I’m just kind of going through the motions and not really aware at the moment, and I’ve done that a bunch in my career.
“At the time, I was pretty angry. The way I show anger is not the traditionally accepted way of, you know, throwing clubs and berating the fans and marshals.
“I tend to be a little more passive aggressive in my actions, and that was kind of what I was doing.”
Big-hitting American Luke List made nine birdies in a seven-under 63 to lead by a shot from compatriot Rickie Fowler, England’s Robert Rock and Lee Westwood, Spain’s Scott Fernandez and Sweden’s Jens Dantorp.
Paul Dunne was 29th after he double-bogeyed the 18th and signed for a 67, while Pádraig Harrington bogeyed the 16th and 18th on his way to a three-over 73.
Darren Clarke had an identical finish for a one-over 71 as his son Tyrone (19) bowed out in the quarter-finals of the North of Ireland Amateur Championship at Royal Portrush.
He fell to 3 and 2 to Ardglass’s Adam Mulhall who now faces England’s Kieran Babbage in the semi-finals, with the winner to meet Rosslare’s Ian Lynch or leading qualifier Matthew McClean from Malone.
On the Challenge Tour, Derry’s Ruaidhri McGee was tied for seventh, three shots behind Spain’s Mario Galiano and Sweden’s Sebastian Soderberg, after opening with a four-under 67 in the Italian Challenge in Sardinia.
Michael Hoey and Gavin Moynihan were tied 19th after 68s at Is Molas Resort as Ballymena’s Dermot McElroy and The Island’s Paul McBride shot one-under 70s to sit right on the cut line.
Ardglass’s Cormac Sharvin (71), West Waterford’s Gary Hurley (73) and Mount Juliet’s Stephen Grant (74) have work to do to make the weekend.
On the PGA Tour, Seamus Power was among the late starters in the John Deere Classic where Steve Wheatcroft opened with a nine-under 62 at TPC Deer Run to lead the race for one spot in The Open at Carnoustie by one stroke from Michael Kim.
Live, Sky Sports, 10.30am
John Deere Classic
Live, Sky Sports Golf, 9.0pm