Phil Mickelson chastises golf's "loose" ball markers

Five time major winner also defended Lexi Thompson

Phil Mickelson

Image: Matt Dunham / AP/Press Association Images

Phil Mickelson has claimed that many of his fellow golfers are "loose" when marking the ball on greens and has called for a halt to the practice.

The American says those players then move it to a marginally more favourable position to gain an advantage.

Ahead of the 2017 Masters at Augusta which tee off on Thursday, the five time major winner was responding to questions about Lexi Thompson who lost out on the first women's major of the year over a mistake when marking a ball.

The women's world number nine was adjudged to have marked her ball on the 17th an inch away from where she picked it up.

The mistake was flagged by a TV viewer who emailed the LPGA to alert them to the rule violation.

Mickelson said discrepancies over marking the ball were an issue on the men's tour.

"I know a number of guys on tour that are loose with how they mark the ball and have not been called on it," he said.

"I mean, they will move the ball two, three inches in front of their mark, and this is an intentional way to get it out of any type of impression and so forth and I think that kind of stuff needs to stop."

The three time Masters winner also defended Thompson, saying, “I think that she should be given the trophy” and that the issue could have been dealt with a warning rather than a penalty.

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