Cameron Smith called out Phil Mickelson for slow play and “gamesmanship” in their quarterfinal match last year, saying “He seemed to take forever today. I think we were three or four holes behind, so that was a bit painful.”
Koepka, Mickelson’s opponent this year, has been outspoken on his utter disdain for slow play – against Mickelson, nonetheless – and is more of the Roy McAvoy “grip it and rip it” type.
“I wasn’t intentionally playing slow. I know that in the 2021 PGA final round, Brooks felt the same way,” said Mickelson. “But really, all I was trying to do was get a visualization of the shot and get in kind of like my own little bubble and world. Maybe I was playing slow; maybe I wasn’t. It wasn’t my intent. My intent was to get into a calm state and have good visualization and play my best golf.
“But look, I’m going to be trying to do the same thing (Friday). I’m not trying to play slow,” he added. “I’m always saying, look, go ahead. Go ahead and hit. Like I’m not trying to throw you out of your rhythm but I don’t want to be taken out of mine, either.”