Mickelson ultimately got a 10 on the par 4, but the biggest incident was his disrespect toward the course. His fourth shot onto the putting surface came to rest 18 feet from the hole, and when his attempt at a bogey putt ran past the hole, Mickelson rushed over and hit his ball a second time before it came to rest.
Asked if people would find his actions on No. 13 disrespectful, Mickelson said: "It's meant to take advantage of the rules as best as you can". "I know it's a two-shot penalty". He finished the hole with a two shot penalty and a 10!
"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. I have had multiple times where I've wanted to do that.
"I think he just snapped".
"No question it was going to go down into the same spot behind the bunker". "It's a two-shot penalty". I don't know what happens now.' And then he started speaking to the rules official.More news: Yemen's rebel-held Hudaida under assault from Saudi-led coalition
Strangely, the USGA deemed that Mickelson "played" the moving ball, rather than "moving or stopping" it, which could have brought disqualification into play. This was his way to bend the rules and take a shot at the USGA at the same time for making the green so hard. "That's one of the funniest things I've ever seen". I wasn't going to have a shot. "I said, 'I'm sorry, but I've got to laugh at this"'.
It dropped the veteran star to 16 over for the tournament, 20 shots adrift of then leader Dustin Johnson.
USGA executive director Mike Davis revealed that he had been contacted by Mickelson to clarify the ruling, although he did not confirm rumours the six-time US Open runner-up had offered to withdraw. From longtime Shinnecock greenskeeper Ron Eleazer, to Southampton Golf Club member Denise Martorana, part of the team marshaling the first hole, to Shinnecock course superintendent Jon Jennings, everyone seems to agree that a Mickelson win would be something to celebrate.
It's the type of thing you'd see a stroppy youngster perform, frustrated at their putt not going into the hole.
In the last 22 groups on Saturday, no one even matched par-70 on the treacherous layout.