Mickelson chased after his travelling ball on the 13th green on day three and struck it before it could roll farther from the hole, breaching rule 14.5 which prohibits a player hitting a moving ball.
During the third round, Phil, who turned 48 today, had apparently had enough of his putting and on the par-4 13th hole after striking the ball once and missing the hole, he ran and hit the ball again before it had come to rest.
"I've never seen anything like that from a world-class player in my life", odd said.
But the left-hander's admission he deliberately incurred a two-shot penalty rather than risk running up a bigger score sparked criticism that he had bent the usual etiquette and spirit of the game. "I know it's a 2-shot penalty, and at that time I just didn't feel like going back and forth and hitting the same shot over".
"It's my understanding of the rules". "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".
Davis said the worst spot was the 15th, where the hole location was too close to the edge of the green. "I wasn't going to have a shot".
It was reminiscent of John Daly hitting a moving ball at Pinehurst No. 2 in the 1999 U.S. Open.
Tony Finau and Daniel Berger were somewhat accidental tourists at the top of the U.S. Open leaderboard entering Sunday thanks to the respective 66s as the contenders with later third-round tee times collapsed in the more hard conditions.
Zach Johnson said the USGA "lost the course".
Not everyone accepted Mickelson's explanation of his decision to make the controversial move - and many were quick to say that since Mickelson wasn't disqualified by tournament officials, he should have disqualified himself.
"I've had an awesome day".
The US Golf Association was in damage control mode on Saturday, admitting they botched the US Open course set-up but defending a decision not to disqualify five-time major victor Phil Mickelson. I might have saved a shot doing it the way I did. "I said, 'That's one of the strangest things I've ever seen, ' and then just started laughing", Johnston said, according to Golfchannel.com. And if that's the way people took it, I apologize to them.
The first two days of the tournament have seen near capacity crowds flood onto the course, about 26,000 on Thursday and more than 29,000 on Friday including spectators, vendor staff and volunteers.
Phil Mickelson knows the rules of golf as well as anyone. At this rate, he'll just be glad to leave Shinnecock Hills in one piece. He needed two more putts to get down from there.
It certainly was one of the most surreal moments of all the 118 U.S. Opens contested.