The 2012 Memorial came to a rousing finish on Sunday afternoon with the back nine charge of Tiger Woods, which clinched his 73rd Tour win to tie Jack Nicklaus. But the Tournament started with a bit of controversy on Thursday, as the power grouping of Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler, and Bubba Watson all complained of persistent use of and disruption from cellphone cameras by patrons on the course. All three players in the group had to repeatedly back off shots because of the distraction, which has become a growing problem.
Mickelson promptly withdrew at the end of his round, citing "mental fatigue" after an ugly opening 79. Lefty had played a fairly rigorous scheduled during the month of May and many suspected he needed to throttle down and prep for the U.S. Open. But the cellphone problem was also cited as a potential reason for the WD, with Mickelson making one of his patented stands against Tour policy and procedure. Now, two days after Woods' win, reports have surfaced that it got so bad that Mickelson texted Commissioner Tim Finchem directly from the course during his round to complain about the issue. Details after the jump:
According to four people with direct knowledge, Mickelson sent a text message to PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem from the sixth fairway at Muirfield Village suggesting that a lack of policing fans with cellphones was getting out of hand.
In the post-tournament press conference, Jack Nicklaus made a point of saying they needed to work on the cellphone problem and correct it for next year. It's still pretty remarkable and ironic that Mickelson would take the steps to stop his round and directly complain to the Commissioner.
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