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US Open: Phil Mickelson explains freakish decision to hit a moving ball

US Open: Phil Mickelson explains freakish decision to hit a moving ball

It was amusing because I didn't think he hit that bad of a chip shot from behind the green in the first place. "But toughen up, this was not meant that way".

Phil Mickelson started the final round of the US Open at Shinnecock Hills 14 strokes behind the leaders, but he had become the story of the tournament thanks to a weird penalty and a ruling from the US Golf Association that many disagreed with. A quick forgive and forget was never going to happen but he perhaps would have been surprised that Alan Shipnuck, one of America's most respected golf reporters, shared a private text message exchange between the pair, on social media. Koepka won last year's US Open that was hosted at Erin Hills with a score of -16.

Mickelson's comments seem to suggest he was attempting to gain an advantage.

The Englishman told Omnisport: "He was making a statement that, "This is ridiculous and I'm going to show you how ridiculous this is".

Mickelson was asked if he thought what he did was disrespectful to the championship.

His playing partner surely did.

Andrew Johnson, who was paired with Mickelson, was stunned by the incident and broke into laughter, prompting Mickelson to also grin as the pair walked off the green.

"I think you've got to because it was outrageous what they did to the course". At this rate, he'll just be glad to leave Shinnecock Hills in one piece. However, by not simply "deflecting" or stopping the ball, and by actually trying to make the return putt, he actually used the Rules to the letter.

In the aftermath of the two-shot penalty given to Phil there has been plenty of speculation and discussion over both his and the USGA's explanation of it, and whether or not the penalty fit the crime or if he should have been disqualified or withdrawn. They moved on after mistakes knowing that complaining would not help.

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"I would gladly take the two shots over continuing that display", he said.

Phil Mickelson reacts to a shot from the fescue on the fifth hole during his third round. Mickelson and Johnston shared a laugh after the ordeal, but Mickelson was assessed a two-stroke penalty.

With rounds of 77-69-81, Mickelson finished 54 holes at 17 over par and is tied for 64th.

Mickelson carded a 10 for the hole.

Worse yet, there was clearly some premeditation involved. I should have done it a couple of times on 15 at Augusta. "But he's going to take it on the chin for this one". How could it be unfair, every contestant that stepped foot on the property played the same holes and course that everybody else played on.

There's no way any of golf's governing bodies want this ever coming into play, of course.

The guys in the green jackets would have sent him packing before he had a chance to change out of his golf shoes. "Phil running down a putt & hitting it while it's moving or giving the thumbs up & s-t eating grin on the next hole.WTF was that?"

Phil and Amy Mickelson, pictured at the Presidents Cup.

Mickelson's decision was certainly an unusual solution - John Daly did similar at the 1999 US Open - but was a sign of things to come for the leading groups, who endured the worst of the conditions on sun-baked greens. "I just kept saying 'What is he doing?"


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