Phil Mickelson under fire after deliberately stopping ball at US Open

Brunilde Fioravanti
Giugno 18, 2018

Phil Mickelson's "putt-gate" shenanigans at Shinnecock created a firestorm that will haunt his legacy on a tumultuous and controversial third day at the US Open. He finished the hole with a two shot penalty and a 10!

Later, after acknowledging he was using Rule 14-5 to his advantage, Mickelson called USGA officials. In the scheme of things, I don't think it's that big a deal.

Mickelson could say more, plenty more. "I was a standard bearer today for Ricky Fowler". "He's not ideal - I'm not, you're not".

Those who witnessed it, said that they couldn't believe their eyes.

Unfortunately he ruined it by acting like a 10-year-old at the U.S. Open.

"Look, everybody's got to play it so I'm not saying either way", he said.

His reaction after his par putt fell at No.13 recalled Mickelson's most celebrated celebration, after he sank a putt and earned his first green jacket, in 2004.

"I'm not as much of a Phil fan, so give him the DQ", he said.

UPDATE: 5:15 p.m.

Saturday showed that no lead is safe at the toughest test in golf.

"When you have a championship that comes down to sheer luck, that's not right", he said. And you take the two shots, and you move on.

"I didn't feel like going back and forth", he said.

Sweden's Henrik Stenson, who briefly held the lead during the early stages of his round, had five bogeys on the back nine of his four-over 74. It just got to him.

UPDATE: 4:50 p.m.

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.

The USGA did something that they didn't need to, because they pushed it to the absolute limit of what they thought they could get away with and the gamble failed. He jogged after it and tapped it back up towards the hole as it was still rolling. Mickelson and Johnston shared a laugh after the ordeal, but Mickelson was assessed a two-stroke penalty.

"I don't mean to disrespect anybody", the four-times major victor said.

"John Daly's reputation took a hit after what he did at Pinehurst in '99 and I fear it will be the same for Phil", former U.S. Golf Association executive director David Fay said.

"He could have saved himself a shot by just letting it go and taking unplayable, " Fowler said. It appeared that he took 8 strokes before the two-stroke penalty was added.

"It's my understanding of the rules". I don't know if it would have saved me a shot or not.

American golfer Phil Mickelson loses the plot at the US Open when he putts a moving ball.

Although part of me loved the chaos and madness of it all, as it made for a compelling day of sporting drama, I do recognise it was completely ridiculous what happened during the third round. "It's been incredible", he said. It's been- you know, singing "Happy Birthday", wishing happy birthdays, the people here have made coming here over the decades an awesome experience.

UPDATE: 12:30 p.m.

Other players, however, were more measured and accepted the challenge for what it was.

Mickelson has work to do if he wants to be in the conversation on Sunday, and the birthday singers aren't the only ones rooting for him. He went 69-81-69 in the final three rounds of this U.S. Open, one of his most eventful ever.

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