Phil Mickelson to critics after U.S. Open penalty: 'Toughen up'

Phil Mickelson says he was happy to take a two-shot penalty when he bizarrely chose to putt a moving ball on the 13 hole at the US Open on Saturday. Mickelson hit his bogey putt well past the hole and it appeared that it might roll off the green.

As he's still on the golf course at the time of this writing, Mickelson hasn't yet spoken on the matter but word from the FOX broadcast is that he took the penalty on objective in protest of the pin placements and the setup in general, a setup that he actually said he enjoyed earlier in the week.

Mickelson would shoot an 11-over 81 in the third round that dropped him to 17 over for the week and in 65th place.

Mickelson's actions were reminiscent of John Daly hitting a moving ball at Pinehurst No. 2 in the 1999 U.S. Open. I have had multiple times where I've wanted to do that.

Mickelson, who has been a US Open runner-up six times, most recently in 2013, was having a miserable time Saturday before reaching 13. "But it was just a moment - I think it's just a moment of madness".

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Shinnecock Hills has been ripping apart the world's best players all week and it all must have just gotten to Mickelson. That made for a 14, a total of 83 in the first round, and a withdrawal.

Contributing to his downfall was a meltdown on the par four 13th.

Mickelson, who was already four over par for the day, badly overhit a putt on the 13th green which looked in danger of rolling off the putting surface. "I took the two shot penalty and moved on", replied Phil. I did not feel like continuing going back and forth. Instead of letting it continue, Mickelson jogged over and hit the ball while it was still moving.

Strangely, the USGA deemed that Mickelson "played" the moving ball, rather than "moving or stopping" it, which could have brought disqualification into play.

  • Lawrence Cooper