In general, I prefer when the players have to play the ball down. However, yesterday came very close to a situation where lift, clean, and place was appropriate. The problem is that deciding what casual water is going to be subjective no matter what. Correct me if I'm wrong, but each group had a rules official with them. So it's very likely that the rules officials differed on what they thought was casual water. That's where I see the problem - it's not going to be consistent from group to group.
It makes sense to me that when there is so much water on the course to the point where Rickie seemed to have his ball in his hand on almost every hole, you play LCP to avoid that inconsistency. I couldn't care less about mudballs - rub of the green in my book. The problem is that the rules will be interpreted differently for each group.