Phil Mickelson’s quest to complete the career Grand Slam was not aided Thursday by the numerous instances in which he was distracted by spectators who did not switch their cell phone cameras off during the first round of the U.S. Open.
Mickelson was visibly and audibly irritated during one instance on the 13th hole — his fourth — in which he three times backed off a shot from just off the fairway to ask that a cell camera be switched off.
The third time resulted in a police officer being summoned, and while Mickelson did not use it as an excuse, he pushed his approach well left into a bush and had to take a penalty stroke.
Mickelson, who turned 51 on Wednesday, managed just one birdie in a round of 4-over-par 75 that left him eight shots back of clubhouse leader Russell Henley.
“It’s part of professional golf,” Mickelson said. “You have to learn to deal with it. I don’t understand why you just can’t turn that little button on the side into silent. I probably didn’t deal with it internally as well as I could have or as well as I need to. It’s part of playing the game out here at this level. Certainly I didn’t do the best job of dealing with it.