Mickelson defends deliberately hitting moving ball

Marcus Newton
June 17, 2018

Phil Mickelson insisted he did not disrespect the sport of golf or the US Open after he putted a moving ball in the third round.

It meant an automatic two-shot penalty and he ended up with a 10 for the hole.

Mickelson, who turns 48 today, missed a bogey putt on the 13 before running the ball and hitting it again as it continued to roll away from the hole. "I know it is a two-shot penalty". In that situation, I would gladly take the two shots'.

Though, Phil took that to a completely different level on the 13th hole Saturday. It's my understanding of the rules.

"I've wanted to do that many times".

"I think he just snapped". I can't see anything and I went, 'Where is it?' And he went, 'It's just in that bunker up there.' I go, 'Ah, you gotta be kidding me!' He's like, "Aaaah!" "I don't know if I was able to save a shot or not". I mean, you want to always use them in your favour.

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Whether some of the fans knew of the mishap or not, there were number of them looking for autographs once Mickelson did his interviews, both for Fox and the throng of reporters just outside the clubhouse. "I'm sure he is going to regret that".

The Shinnecock Hills course has a reputation for being a brutal test of golf in US Open conditions with slick greens and pins set in tough positions, allied to a baking sun and stiff breeze. "If you look at it, rule 14-5 explicitly covers a player making a stroke at a moving ball, and so we operated under that rule".

"Honestly, I said to him, 'I can't help but laugh, '" he said. He was serenaded with "Happy Birthday" at almost every green, and even after four consecutive bogeys the fans were supportive. The people have made coming here over the decades an awesome experience.

World number one Johnson, who had led by four overnight, shot a 77.

Mickelson jogged after the ball after it curled around the hole, realizing it was about to head down the other side of the green. At this rate, he'll just be glad to leave Shinnecock Hills in one piece. "I've never seen that in tournament, only when playing with my mates". He needed two more putts to get down from there.

"We saw some examples late in the day where well executed shots were not only not being rewarded but in some cases penalized".

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