Why Phil Mickelson didn't get disqualified from the US Open

Phil Mickelson needed something low in Round 3 at the U.S. Open on Saturday at Shinnecock Hills.

After sending a bogey putt speeding past the cup on the 13th hole, Mickelson basically snapped.

"That's the most out-of-character I have ever seen Phil Mickelson", Azinger said.

Mickelson went on to shoot a round of 81 and sits third last of those that made the halfway cut on 17-over par.

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

Phil Mickelson came to this US Open looking to end his curse at the championship and so join the immortals who have completed the career grand slam. And if that's the way people took it, I apologize to them, but that's not the way it was taken.

Contributing to his downfall was a meltdown on the par four 13th. Then he kept on with his round and parred the most hard hole on the course, the 14th, still smiling and acknowledging fans. "I took the two shot penalty and moved on", replied Phil.

History suggests the 33-year-old is an odds-on favourite to become only the second player after Tiger Woods to win while ranked world number one, with five of the previous six players to hold a halfway lead of four shots or more going on to win.

Strangely, the USGA deemed that Mickelson "played" the moving ball, rather than "moving or stopping" it, which could have brought disqualification into play.

That is a two-stroke penalty that is given after he finishes the 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?

Mickelson took a two-shot penalty for the infraction, then finished up for what was initially reported to be a quadruple bogey nine.

  • Rosalie Stanley