Sports

Mickelson apologizes 4 days after hitting moving ball

Mickelson apologizes 4 days after hitting moving ball

Rather than waiting for it to stop, he hit it back up the slope when it was still moving and it came to rest above the hole.

He carded a respectable one-under-par 69 on Sunday, a 12-shot improvement on his third round but of largely academic interest after Saturday's performance.

It's my understanding of the rules, I've had multiple times where I've wanted to do that I just finally did it.

Mickelson, who turned 48 on Saturday, will have to wait until Pebble Beach next June for another chance to complete a career grand slam.

"You might as well have played two different courses and said, 'We'll play this easy course in the morning and play this really hard course in the afternoon'".

Despite Mickelson's explanation, Johnston's first impression was that frustration got the better of him. The five-time major victor explained that he realized his initial putt was going to wind up well off the green and he "just didn't feel like going back and forth and hitting the same shot over", so he "took the two-shot penalty and moved on". Many thought he should have been disqualified under Rule 1-2, and many felt Mickelson ruined the spirit of the game by willfully breaking a rule out of frustration.

Mickelson, 48, has finished second in the U.S. Open a record six times.

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But he said in a text message to a select group of reporters Wednesday: "I know this should've come sooner, but it's taken me a few days to calm down".

Controversy occurred as Mickelson missed a short downhill putt and his ball continued to trickle away from the cup, aided by gravity and a strong tailwind.

The USGA invoked Rule 14-5 which states a player "must not make a stroke at his ball while it is moving". We're done, but we're not done, if you know what we mean.

"That's where we clarified", Davis said, telling Mickelson he "made a stroke at a moving ball, and so we have to apply that rule".

"You know it's not his finest moment but hopefully he'll learn from it".

"Ethically [Mickelson's conduct] was incorrect, it shouldn't have been done and is not a good example to kids, but I can see why he did it. We all have a moment in life sometimes and that was kind of a moment I think for him", Amy said.


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