U.S. Open: Phil Mickelson melts down, hits still-rolling ball

Tanya Simon
June 17, 2018

The incident on Mickelson's 48th birthday brought to mind a similar episode by John Daly during the 1999 US Open at Pinehurst No. 2.

The start of that sequence was for bogey on the par-four 13th.

The five-time major champion, celebrating his 48th birthday, said he quickly decided the two-stroke penalty would be better than allowing the ball to roll of the green. Commentators were in pure shock. "It's amusing. I just wanted to get to the next hole and did not see that happening without the two shots".

There was some question as to whether the USGA could disqualify Mickelson under Rule 1-2, which outlaws playing a moving ball to gain a "signifiant advantage". "I don't know if it would have saved me a shot or not, but I might have saved my shot doing it the way I did it, too".

Mickelson's tee shot hit the fairway, but he missed the green with his next two approach shots.

"Look, I don't mean disrespect to anybody", he said.

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"That's the most out of character I've ever seen Phil Mickelson", Paul Azinger said on the Fox broadcast.

Putting for birdie, Mickelson pushed the ball wide. It's just simply I just wanted to get on to the next hole and I didn't see that happening at the time. I don't know if I was able to save a shot or not.

Phil Mickelson has had a moment of complete madness, as he hit his ball when it was still in motion.

"I said 'That's one of the strangest things I've ever seen. It was odd, no one ever has those thoughts, it just happens".

The U.S. Open remains the only major that Phil hasn't captured in his career, after Masters wins in 2004, 2006, and 2010, a PGA Championship in 2005, and a British Open in 2013. And then you hit the next one and it almost goes off the green.

It was a very uncharacteristic error by Mickelson, who usually cuts a cool, calm and collected figure on the course.

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