Published: Tue, June 19, 2018
Sports | By Sarah Myers

Mickelson hits moving ball, incurs 2-shot penalty

Mickelson hits moving ball, incurs 2-shot penalty

"If somebody's offended by that I apologize", Mickelson said after running after his golf ball on the 13th green at Shinnecock Hills and hitting it while it was still moving. He missed that putt as well and then tapped in for a 10 with the penalty he had to take, putting him at 10-over for the day and in a position where he's going to have some explaining to do.

Mickelson raised his arms in mock celebration when the ball went in, a far cry from Saturday when he ran up a hefty 10 on the same hole, including a two-stroke penalty for his transgression, which could even have seen him disqualified from the tournament. I don't mean it [to be] disrespectful. "It's a two-shot penalty".

Was it a mad spur-of-the-moment mistake, or was it a pre-calculated move to save a shot or two like he said?

"John Daly's reputation took a hit after what he did at Pinehurst in '99 and I fear it will be the same for Phil", former U.S. Golf Association executive director David Fay said. But the USGA told him that wouldn't be necessary, and Mickelson played his final round on Sunday just hours after one of the strangest moments in recent major championship history.

"Oh, no question; it was going to go down in the same spot behind the bunker and I wasn't going to have a shot", Mickelson said. "I wasn't going to have a shot".

He was assessed a two-stroke penalty under Rule 14-5, which pertains to when a moving ball is hit. "I feel like you've got to take it from me, to be honest".

"It was human error and Phil Mickelson was saying, 'Don't make us look stupid, this is how stupid it is'".

Sweden's Henrik Stenson, who briefly held the lead during the early stages of his round, had five bogeys on the back nine of his four-over 74. Sorry, I have to laugh at this.' He just laughed with me. Instead of letting it continue, Mickelson jogged over and hit the ball while it was still moving. "We are operating strictly under [Rule] 14-5, which is pretty clear that he played a moving ball".

"It started to get a lot firmer and faster", he said.

As he walked off the green, he could be seen smiling and talking to playing partner Andrew Johnston, who also was smiling.

"He's a good man who had a bad moment", Amy Mickelson said.

Whether he likes it or not, the spectators at Shinnecock Hills today will not let Phil Mickelson forget that it's his birthday.

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.

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