"During play of the 13th hole Phil Mickelson made a stroke on the putting green at the time his ball was moving", a USGA statement about the incident read.
Phil Mickelson gave us a moment that will be talked about for years when he chose to putt a moving ball on the 13th green rather than let it roll down a slope.
"At that time I didn't feel like going back-and-forth and hitting the same shot over", Mickelson said after his round, admitting he knew he'd be penalised. "I just wanted to get on to the next hole and I didn't see that happening at that time", Mickelson said.
The incident came on the 13th hole of the third round at the U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills. Overall, Mickelson and the USGA were given a pass for an event that has arguably changed the rules of golf forever in a substantive and negative fashion, all to protect a superstar (as our president might say, "when you're a star, they let you do it"). But I know it's a two-shot penalty, hitting a moving ball.
Mickelson's actions were reminiscent of John Daly hitting a moving ball at Pinehurst No. 2 in the 1999 U.S. Open.
Mickelson's shocking display in the third round stunned playing partner Andrew Johnston, who called it "a moment of madness".
According to one USGA rule, Mickelson could have been disqualified for the move if it had been determined that he had gained a "significant advantage".
I'm going out on a limb here, but I predict that Mickelson won't win the tournament.
The player added: "It's certainly not meant to disrespect the championship". "I just kept saying 'What is he doing?"
The first two days of the tournament have seen near capacity crowds flood onto the course, about 26,000 on Thursday and more than 29,000 on Friday including spectators, vendor staff and volunteers.
He said, 'I don't know what [my] score that is.
The flamboyant Daly, however, was already considered unpredictable, whereas Mickelson's reputation as American golf's golden man has been cultivated over nearly three decades of exemplary behavior on the course. "I said I'm sorry, but I've got to laugh at this", Johnston said.
"It just happened. I said, 'That's one of the strangest things I've ever seen, ' and then just started laughing, to be honest". I just didn't think well enough. "I'll gladly take my two strokes and move on". And if that's the way people took it, I apologize to them, but that's not the way it was taken.
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