You've never seen anything like this from Phil Mickelson.
The five-time major champion -- a six-time runner-up in the U.S. Open, the only major he has yet to win -- stunned the golf world on Saturday in the third round at Shinnecock Hills when he hit his moving golf ball back toward the hole on the 13th green after a missed bogey putt.
"I know it’s a two-shot penalty, and at that time I just didn’t feel like going back and forth and hitting the same shot over," Mickelson said after his round. He took a 10 on the hole. "I took the two-shot penalty and moved on. It’s my understanding of the rules. I’ve had multiple times where I’ve wanted to do that, I just finally did."
Here's a look at Rule 14-5:
Rule 14: Striking the Ball
5. Playing Moving Ball
A player must not make a stroke at his ball while it is moving.
— Ball falling off tee (Rule 11-3)
— Striking the ball more than once (Rule 14-4)
— Ball moving in water (Rule 14-6)
When the ball begins to move only after the player has begun the stroke or the backward movement of his club for the stroke, he incurs no penalty under this Rule for playing a moving ball, but he is not exempt from any penalty under Rule 18-2 (Ball at rest moved by player).
Penalty for Breach of Rule 14-5:
Match play — Loss of hole; Stroke play — Two strokes.
It was reminiscent of John Daly hitting a moving ball at Pinehurst No. 2 in the 1999 U.S. Open.
Mickelson would shoot an 11-over 81 in the third round that dropped him to 17 over for the week and in 65th place.
He said he knew the ball was going to roll off the green, which is why he decided to hit it while it was still moving.
"No question it was going to go down in the same spot behind the bunker, I wasn’t going to have a shot," he said. "I don’t know if I would have been able to save a shot or whatnot, but I know it’s a two-shot penalty hitting a moving ball, I tried to hit it as close to the hole as I could to make the next one. You take the two shots and move on."
Mickelson was asked if he thought what he did was disrespectful to the championship.
"It’s certainly not meant that way," he said. "It’s meant to take advantage of the rules as best as you can. In that situation, I was just going back and forth and I’d gladly take the two shots over continuing that display."
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