Mickelson Steps Out of Character at U.S. Open

Phil Mickelson looking at his shot as it flies through the air

VIDEO: Phil Mickelson Hits Moving Ball Out of Frustration at U.S. Open

After a birdie at the fourth, Mickelson bogeyed five of his next seven holes to fall to 10-over for the tournament, then carded a disastrous 10 at the par-4 13th hole.

Mickelson admitted post-round he hit the ball prematurely deliberately to stop the ball going off the green again, although did that put him a better position?

Look, I don't mean disrespect to anybody. Taking his two-shot penalty, the extremely unusual incident divided viewers between those who condemned the action, and those who saw the amusing side of it. "In that situation, I would gladly take the two shots".

"A player must not (i) take an action with the intent to influence the movement of a ball in playor (ii) alter physical conditions with the intent of affecting the playing of a hole". And I said to him, 'It's like someone's standing there slapping you in the face constantly for 18 holes, just slapping you in the face.' That's what it felt like. Sorry, I have to laugh at this.' He just laughed with me.

I'm going out on a limb here, but I predict that Mickelson won't win the tournament. Well, he runs after it and hits it back towards the hole when it is still in motion.

And I don't know if I would have been able to save a shot or whatnot.

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John Bodenhamer of the US Golf Association said Mickelson was penalized two strokes for violating rule 14-5 by "making a stroke at a moving ball".

He was taking advantage of the rules. Mickelson managed to par 14 through 16 after his meltdown before bogeying 17. He had four consecutive bogeys before parring the 12th, despite the serenading of "Happy Birthday" from the crowds at every hole. "You know that they're trying to set this golf course up as close to the edge as possible", said Jim Furyk, who trails Finau, Berger, reigning champion Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson by three strokes entering the final round.

"If someone is offended I apologise but toughen up", Mickelson said.

"I said 'That's one of the strangest things I've ever seen". He was the runner-up here in 2004, one of six times he's finished second in the U.S. Open. "You can always use them in your favor".

"It's something you might see at your home course with your mates or something", Johnston said. "I enjoy the challenge of this because we don't get to see it but once a year and sometimes it gets a little goofy sure. It just happens", Johnston said.

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