Phil Mickelson under fire after deliberately stopping ball at US Open


After racing his bogey putt past the hole, he bizarrely and inexplicably jogged down after his ball before putting it back up the hill while it was still rolling.

Mickelson now is 17-over par for the tournament after turning in an 11-over par third round. It's just simply I just wanted to get on to the next hole and I didn't see that happening at the time. Regardless of his play, Mickelson said he enjoyed his time at Shinnecock.

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

"Our rules committee unanimously decided that this situation is specifically and explicitly covered under Rule 14-5", explained John Bodenhamer, senior managing director of championships & governance for the USGA. Mickelson was intentionally taking advantage of the rule whereas Daly swatted at the ball as it rolled back to him out of what he later admitted was frustration at the USGA over the placement of the hole on the 8th hole. "We are operating strictly under [Rule] 14-5, which is pretty clear that he played a moving ball".

Johnston, who shot 82 Saturday while playing alongside Mickelson, called Mickelson's move "one of the mad moments".

Some fans are furious, calling for Mickelson to be thrown out of the tournament, others feel he should be forgiven for the moment of madness. "That's where we clarified that 'Phil, you make a stroke at a moving ball, so we have to apply that rule'. It's amusing. I just wanted to get to the next hole and did not see that happening without the two shots".

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"That was jarring", analyst Curtis Strange said. Taking his two-shot penalty, the extremely unusual incident divided viewers between those who condemned the action, and those who saw the amusing side of it.

"That can happen, [but] that's not what we operated under here, " Bodenamer said. His reaction to saving par at the par 4 on Sunday isn't going to get him back in anyone's good graces.

Daly, however, already had a reputation for being unpredictable, whereas Mickelson's reputation as American golf's golden man has been cultivated over nearly three decades of exemplary behaviour on the course.

Commentating on the incident for Fox, former Ryder Cup captain Paul Azinger said: "That's the most out of character I have ever seen Phil". "He's putted bad enough that I think he just snapped at how bad his speed was on that putt".

"It's something you might see at your home course with your mates or something", Johnston said. I took the two shots and moved on.