Phil Mickelson Took Advantage Of Risky Loophole With Double-Putt

See Phil Mickelson's bizarre meltdown on the green at the U.S. Open

See Phil Mickelson's bizarre meltdown on the green at the U.S. Open

Phil Mickelson finished the 2018 U.S. Open 17 shots behind victor Brooks Koepka, but the five-time major champion's shocking meltdown on the green Saturday was one of the biggest stories of the weekend.

The USGA invoked the rule that delivers a two-stroke penalty for hitting a moving ball, but many wondered why Mickelson wasn't disqualified from the tournament entirely. I'm embarrassed and disappointed in my actions. "I'm sorry that you're taking it that way, it's certainly not meant that way". Mickelson, who previously had defended his actions on the 13th green in Round 3 at Shinnecock Hills, noted that his frustration and anger boiled over and he more or less snapped.

He missed a bogey putt before running after his still-moving ball and hitting it back towards the hole before it could run off the front of the green.

With the penalty he racked up a sextuple bogey 10 at the par-four hole - although it took some minutes for the scoreboard to catch up with him.

That led to players struggling to hold greens with approach shots and even putting the ball off the green, due to extremely firm and overly fast conditions.

Mickelson came into the day tied at 37th overall, needing a low score to climb back up the leaderboard. "He's not ideal - I'm not, you're not".

In interviews with Fox Sports and reporters afterward, Mickelson, who finished with an 81 on a day when fans serenaded him throughout the course on his 48 birthday, insisted he meant no disrespect.

"In that situation, I was just going back and forth. I would gladly take the two shots over continuing that display".

Mickelson's wife Amy later revealed that her husband called USGA executive director Mike Davis after his round on Saturday and offered to withdraw.

"Phil really did want to understand how the rule operates because he didn't want to - frankly, as he said to me: 'I don't want to play in this championship if I should have been disqualified, ' " Davis said (via the AP). "It may not seem like it, but the reality is we apply the rules the way they're written". I've had multiple times where I've wanted to do that.

For the purists, however, the unexpected move to putt a moving ball from one of golf's greatest ambassadors was a stain on the game, with many calling for the five-time major victor to be disqualified or to withdraw from the event.

Finau will play with Daniel Berger in the final group Sunday.

In Trump's America, it appears that you can now do or say anything and be heralded as a maverick and a hero.

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