Frustrated Mickelson swats moving ball with putter at Open

Yeah, uh, you can't do that. He has finished runner-up in the U.S. Open a record six times, and he acknowledged that time was running out on his best chances to become just the sixth golfer in history to complete the career grand slam.

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

This is where golf gets into the weeds and the USGA's ruling is ... curious: The USGA determined Mickelson "made a stroke at a moving ball", but did not purposefully deflect or stop it.

Mickelson was given a 10 for the par-4 hole.

That was a 2-stroke penalty and Mickelson ended up with a 9 on the hole.

Butch Harmon, speaking on Sky Sports was amazed at Phil's reaction, and a host of golfing fans felt it was a disrespectful attitude for Phil to have.

A player must not make a stroke at his ball while it is moving.

Also inexplicably, Mickelson walked away from the green with playing partner Andrew "Beef" Johnston smiling.


Do you think Mickelson should have been punished further?

He himself apologised, insisting that he had "meant no disrespect". "It's just one of them things that just happened".

Phil Mickelson of the United States plays a shot during practice rounds prior to THE PLAYERS Championship on the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass on May 8, 2018 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

Mickelson had an 18-foot bogey putt roll past the hole and towards the edge of the green. He hustled after the putt - and hit it back toward the hole before it stopped rolling. Mickelson then tapped in for par.

It was not immediately clear what was Mickelson's motive in striking the ball.

It was reminiscent of John Daly hitting a moving ball at Pinehurst No. 2 in the 1999 US Open.

It was a shocking display on the 13th green at Shinnecock Hills on Saturday. He then said: "This is my last U.S. Open - ever".


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