Mickelson Steps Out of Character at U.S. Open

Lewis Collier
June 18, 2018

For the purists, however, the unexpected move to putt a moving ball from one of golf's greatest ambassadors was a stain on the game, with many calling for the five-time major victor to be disqualified or to withdraw from the event. Mickelson walked away with a 9, later changed to a 10, and will now likely hear from the USGA about "conduct unbecoming", and is probably going to be disqualified. "I think the hole selection committee should be DQ'd. Watching the best in the world three-putting and not being rewarded for good shots is not entertaining".

Asked if he had an issue with what Mickelson did, Johnston said: "No, not at all".

Mickelson has legions of fans, but he did not win himself any more this week.

"Today I needed something special to happen to have an outside chance". And I had- you know, it's a fun birthday.

Those who witnessed it, said that they couldn't believe their eyes.

Tony Finau and Daniel Berger were somewhat accidental tourists at the top of the U.S. Open leaderboard entering Sunday thanks to the respective 66s as the contenders with later third-round tee times collapsed in the more hard conditions. "If I was a player behind him, I'd be annoyed", he said.

He could have been disqualified, however, had rules officials deemed it a serious breach of another rule that states "a player must not take an action with the intent to influence the movement of a ball in play".

"What worries me more is that he shows little contrition".

UPDATE: 5:15 p.m.

Twenty two players are bunched within five shots of the lead. This was his way to bend the rules and take a shot at the USGA at the same time for making the green so hard.

"No question, it was going to go down in the same spot behind the bunker", he said.

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. Golf seems to be working out just fine for him though.

UPDATE: 4:50 p.m.

Though, Phil took that to a completely different level on the 13th hole Saturday.

Five killed in 160km/h highway chase by US border agents
Dimmit County is directly north of Webb County and east of Maverick County, which border Mexico . This is, I think, a flawless example of why our borders need to be secure".

He had an 18 footer to make bogey on the 13th, but it went past the hole and looked like it would go off the green altogether. Well, he runs after it and hits it back towards the hole when it is still in motion. Mickelson and Johnston shared a laugh after the ordeal, but Mickelson was assessed a two-stroke penalty.

Look, I don't mean disrespect to anybody. If people take it that way, that's not on me.

But the left-hander's admission he deliberately incurred a two-shot penalty rather than risk running up a bigger score sparked criticism that he had bent the usual etiquette and spirit of the game. It's just simply I just wanted to get on to the next hole and I didn't see that happening at the time.

Mickelson later said he did not mean the shot to be disrespectful, saying there was "no question" the ball was going to roll off the green, and he made a decision to take the penalty rather than the alternative. I don't know if it would have saved me a shot or not. "It's meant to take advantage of the rules as best you can".

"Knowing the rules is never a bad thing".

It's a no-no for kids on a insane golf course, let alone a five-time major champion and former world No. 2 at the US Open. But I responded well every day. "It's been incredible", he said.

UPDATE: 12:30 p.m.

The component of Mickelson's misadventure Saturday that most alarmed his peers was that he'd planned it.

Mickelson is celebrating his 48th birthday, and it's one he is sure to remember. His third shot put him within 58 feet of the hole.

Following an opening-round 77, Mickelson followed it up with a 1-under-par round of 69 in Friday's second round but was still a full 10 shots behind leader Dustin Johnson heading into the weekend.

CURTIS STRANGE: You're really admired around this golfing world, especially here at the US Open.

Amy Mickelson's endorsement of her husband's character came in the context of that putt, a violation of golf rules that resulted in a two-stroke violation. It's something you might see on your home course with your mates.

Saturday, the total draw to the property should be well above that.

He was taking advantage of the rules.

Other reports by

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER