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Dan
Hi Ross,
Regarding Phil Mickelson’s fiasco today at the US Open, some folks are saying he broke Rule 14-5, some say he broke Rule 1-2, and others say Rule 33-7. My question is: are the Rules of Golf applied in order of priority? In this case would 1-2 be the most important, followed by 14-5, then 33-7?
Thanks,
Dan
Ross
I'm not sure Dan.  I didn't hear of any "Hierarchy of Rules" in school or in any of the Rules Seminars I attended.  I think the committee acted correctly giving him a 2 stroke penalty. 

Now, what he did is a different issue.  What about the Spirit of the Game?

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Dan
It’s not popular these days to be concerned about issues like etiquette or ethereal things like the spirit of the game. I think you’re right, he broke Rule 14-5 and should get the two stroke penalty. On top of that, I think he was guilty of a serious breach of etiquette and the committee (USGA) should have disqualified him. One reason I like golf is because of that Spirit of the Game paragraph under the Etiquette portion of the Rules. “All players should conduct themselves in a disciplined manner, demonstrating courtesy and sportsmanship...irrespective of how competitive they may be.”

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