SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. – In an apparent act of frustration, Phil Mickelson chased after his moving ball on the 13th green Saturday at Shinnecock Hills and struck it before it could get farther from the hole.
Doing so is a breach of Rule 14.5 which prohibits a player from hitting a moving ball. It’s a two-stroke penalty and in some cases could lead to disqualification. Mickelson, who was celebrating his 48th birthday on Saturday, continued to play on.
“One of our rules officials spoke to him to inform what we had looked at on video and of our decision,” John Bodenhamer, Senior Managing Director of championships and governance for the USGA told reporters. “We informed him it was a two-stroke penalty and he said ‘Thank you’ and moved ahead with his round.”
Mickelson was given a 10 for the par-4 hole. He was attempting a bogey putt when he missed it badly to the right of the hole, then chased after it as it moved down a slope. The 5-time major champion then struck the ball back at the hole, saw it lip out, then marked it before playing his next shot. It appeared that he took 8 strokes before the two-stroke penalty was added. He was 9 over for the round at that point.