Phil Mickelson has lost his cool during a brutal third round of the US Open and intentionally hit a moving golf ball.
A chaotic, brutal third round at Shinnecock Hills has been overshadowed by an incredible moment that saw Phil Mickelson deliberately hit a moving golf ball.
Mickelson, who was celebrating his 48th birthday, faced a ridiculously fast downhill putt for bogey on the 13th green.
After seeing his ball slide past the hole and head off towards the front of the green, where the chip shot back on to the green would have been very difficult to get close to the hole.
Mickelson instead decided to run ran after it, stepped around the ball and hit it back towards the hole while it was still in motion.
Here is how it unfolded with commentary this time.
Phil Mickelson breached rule 14-5 which says a player “must not make a stroke at his ball while it is moving.”
The USGA released a statement after the round explaining Mickelson’s final score of 10 for the hole.
“During play of the 13th hole Phil Mickelson made a stroke on the putting green at the time his ball was moving. As a result, he incurred a two stroke penalty for a breach of Rule 14-5. His score for the hole was 10.”
And in Mickelson’s interview after the round with Curtis Strange he didn’t exactly apologise for the indiscretion which although technically within the rules, doesn’t appear to be in the spirit of the game.
“At the time, I just didn’t feel like going back and forth and hitting the same shot over,” Mickelson said. “I took the two-shot penalty and moved on. It’s my understanding of the rules. I’ve had multiple times I‘ve wanted to do that. I just finally did.”
Incredibly, and perhaps similarly to Jimmy Walker’s admission last week, Mickelson openly admits to using the rules to his advantage. Mickelson admitted to deliberately hitting, and arguably influencing his golf ball, which is in breach of Rule 1-2.
Rule 1-2 states that a golfer can be disqaulified if:
“A player is deemed to have committed a serious breach of Rule 1-2 if the Committee considers that the action taken in breach of this Rule has allowed him or another player to gain a significant advantage or has placed another player, other than his partner, at a significant disadvantage.”
It left many golf fans and golf pundits left shaking their heads. How did Phil Mickelson escape disqualification?
Former PGA Tour player Phil Cook was left exasperated on the Golf Channel.