Published: Sun, June 17, 2018
Sport | By Joe Gonzales

Phil Mickelson hits moving ball at U.S. Open

Phil Mickelson hits moving ball at U.S. Open

Phil Mickelson's 48th birthday took a freakish twist on Saturday as he was penalised for deliberately hitting a moving ball in the third round of the US Open.

It meant an automatic two-shot penalty and he ended up with a 10 for the hole. He himself apologised, insisting that he had "meant no disrespect". I don't know if it would have saved me a shot or not.

That is a two-stroke penalty that is given after he finishes the hole. "I just finally did".

Mickelson's initial shot landed on the fairway, but his next two shots missed the green. "I don't know if I was able to save a shot or not".

Instead, Mickelson made like Jesse Owens and in an astonishing snub of the dedication to honesty defining his legendary career, stopped a moving ball.

There was some question as to whether the USGA could disqualify Mickelson under Rule 1-2, which outlaws playing a moving ball to gain a "signifiant advantage". "It's just one of them things that just happened".

The five-time major victor finished his round 11-over for the day in 65 position.

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The tournament didn't end so well for fan-favorite Phil Mickelson.

It's a black eye for Phil, at least according to the announcers at today's U.S. Open.

Johnston and Mickelson shared a laugh about it going off the 13th green, but Johnston wasn't quite sure what he was laughing about.

Fox analyst Paul Azinger speculated that Mickelson just snapped after seeing how bad his putt was. At this rate, he'll just be glad to leave Shinnecock Hills in one piece.

"We saw some examples late in the day where well executed shots were not only not being rewarded but in some cases penalized". I really don't feel like I played much different to the first two days. And if that's the way people took it, I apologize to them, but that's not the way it was taken.

"Usually we sell everything well in advance, but NY is a very savvy ticket market and we've seen a lot of sales on-site".

USGA executive director Mike Davis revealed that he had been contacted by Mickelson to clarify the ruling, although he did not confirm rumours the six-time US Open runner-up had offered to withdraw.

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