SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. -Phil Mickelson, who's known for playing by the rules, stepped out of character on his birthday at the U.S. Open.
Mickelson then marked his stationary ball before taking two more putts for an eight, which was later corrected to a 10 after he was assessed a two-stroke penalty. She said a few times that Phil meant no malice and that his intent was not to disrespect the game or his peers.
Former Ryder Cup player Oliver Wilson, speaking on BBC Radio 5 live, labelled the incident "comical" and suggested Mickelson was "very lucky" to be handed "the softer option" of the two-shot penalty over potential disqualification.
"Phil really did want to understand how the rule operates because he didn't want to.as he said to me, 'Mike, I don't want to play in this championship if I should have been disqualified, '" Davis said. "If he acted like that all the time, I think that's different".
"I think it's just one of them moments when you're not thinking about it, it just happens and he did it", said the burly Englishman, whose nickname is "beef".
"I know the rules and the ball was going to go off in a bad spot". "I wasn't going to have a shot".
Mickelson, who has been a runner-up at the US Open six times, descended into meltdown mode when he struck a putt while the ball was still moving.
"It's meant to take advantage of the rules the best you can". He made par at the 12th and came to the 366-yard par-4 13th and just snapped. Justin Rose is one shot back with Henrik Stenson a further shot adrift. And in that situation, it was just going- I was just going back and forth. Well, he runs after it and hits it back towards the hole when it is still in motion.
Playing partner Andrew Johnston called it "a moment of madness".
The difficulty of Shinnecock Hills on Saturday afternoon when the wind picked up and the exposed greens turned quick and crusty turned this U.S. Open into a grinding struggle for survival on the scoreboard.
"Honestly, I said to him, 'I can't help but laugh, '" he said.
Amy Mickelson says husband Phil is not flawless and just had a "bad moment".
"He's a good man who had a bad moment", Amy Mickelson said.
Daly was roundly criticized for what he did, as was Mickelson, although Mickelson had to absorb the wrath of Twitter amid dozens of replays shown on the Fox telecast.
"You might have a bad day at work or do something or say something that you regret".
Ms. Driscoll said the USGA was also surprised at how many people bought their tickets to the first two days of the event at the front gates to Shinnecock Hills, and not in advance.