Mickelson Steps Out of Character at U.S. Open

The US Open witnessed a bizarre moment as Phil Mickelson struck a moving ball on the greens

The controversial moment occurred after the five-times major champion missed a four-foot double-bogey putt and his ball continued to trickle down the hill, aided by both gravity and a strong tailwind. After missing about a 15-foot putt, Mickelson ran over to his ball and hit it back to the hole, while it was still moving.

"I didn't feel like going back and forth", he told reporters.

"I would do it again".

"I would gladly take the two shots over continuing that display", he said. "I think that's a great combination in championship golf". I don't mean any disrespect to anyone and if that's the way it was taken, I apologise to them.

"It's certainly not meant that way", he said. "I'm sorry you're taking it that way".

Mickelson's action resulted in a 2-stroke penalty and a score of 10 on the par-4 hole under Rule 14-5 of the Rules of Golf. But many thought he should have been disqualified under Rule 1-2, which states that if a player purposefully stops or deflects a ball to give himself an advantage, the player should be disqualified.

The freaky incident inevitably caused huge controversy, with at least one fellow professional accusing the USGA of "copping out" by not disqualifying Mickelson. "I don't see how knowing the rules and using them is a manipulation". It's something you might see at our home course with your mates or something.

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That came after Mickelson's "moment of madness", as Saturday playing partner Andrew Johnston described it, became not only the talk of the tournament, but of the entire sports world and beyond. "He didn't really say much, he just started laughing". I tried to hit it as close to the hole as I could to make the next one.

"If you don't laugh you'll end up going insane".

Mickelson didn't speak to the media after his final round of 69, where he raised his arms in the air after holing a putt on the 13th, but his wife Amy spoke to Golf.com whilst he was signing autographs post-round.

Former Ryder Cup player Oliver Wilson, speaking on BBC Radio 5 live, labelled the incident "comical" and suggested Mickelson was "very lucky" to be handed "the softer option" of the two-shot penalty over potential disqualification.

"I've never seen anything like that from a world class player in my life", odd added.

As he's still on the golf course at the time of this writing, Mickelson hasn't yet spoken on the matter but word from the FOX broadcast is that he took the penalty on goal in protest of the pin placements and the setup in general, a setup that he actually said he enjoyed earlier in the week.

The incident didn't seem to dim Mickelson's enthusiasm.

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