Lefty purposely hit his birdie putt on No. 14 wide of the hole and up a slope behind the cup. The ball was still moving when Mickelson swung at it. Instead of letting his ball come to rest, Mickelson smacked it back toward the hole, taking a two-stroke penalty. 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.
Allen reports that the USGA are satisfied with levying a two stroke penalty. "I know it's a two-shot penalty".
The greens have been a nightmare for the world's best golfers as only one player is under par and numerous game's biggest names failed to make the cut. "I just finally did". "It's just one of them things that just happened".
Mickelson marked his birthday by equalling his worst round in 27 US Open appearances, firing an 11-over 81 to match the score he shot at Pebble Beach 25 years earlier. It was about to start rolling down another ridge when Mickelson ran after it and hit it back toward the hole. Mickelson then tapped in for par. Was he just frustrated with how he's played this week - he was already 10-over when the fiasco began - or was his outburst was some sort of protest against the USGA's setup?
RTÉ golf correspondent Greg Allen said the incident is causing a lot of bemusement among the media and galleries at Shinnecock Hills.
"To go to Rule 1-2 - Phil didn't purposely deflect or stop the ball, which is talked about in the reference under Rule 14-5, if you look at it. (Rule) 14-5 explicitly covers a player making a stroke at a moving ball, and so we operated under that rule". He then said: "This is my last U.S. Open - ever". He now sits 17-over for the championship.