Phil Mickelson takes 2-shot penalty for hitting a moving golf ball!

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.

Having taken on an original putt for bogey, the American jogged after the ball and proceeded to hit it again in the direction of the hole.

But US Golf Association rules chief John Bodenhamer said Mickelson's breach did not reach such a level. "If Mickelson had "stopped" or 'deflected" the ball, he would have been disqualified. And as it released and went through, I thought wow, that is seriously quick. "Watching the best in the world three-putting and not being rewarded for good shots is not entertaining". All four of us (Johnston, his caddie, Mickelson and his caddie, his brother Tim) were in the same kind of spirit.

I'm going out on a limb here, but I predict that Mickelson won't win the tournament. "I was a standard bearer today for Ricky Fowler". Definitely, yeah [I've felt the way Phil probably felt].

"Golf-etiquette-wise, that was not the smartest thing to do", Mr. Smith added. And I had- you know, it's a fun birthday.

Those who witnessed it, said that they couldn't believe their eyes.

Unfortunately he ruined it by acting like a 10-year-old at the U.S. Open. "I just finally did". Except laugh? I said, 'C'mon man, tell me some good stories!' And then he told a couple. And as I said, it was one odd moment. Koepka and Johnson, close friends, will play in the penultimate group. "When you have a championship that comes down to pure luck, that's not right". Justin Rose is one shot back with Henrik Stenson a further shot adrift.

Koepka seems to be becoming a new fan favorite. It just got to him.

UPDATE: 4:50 p.m.

Mickelson, however, said he did not have a momentary lapse and did not do it out of frustration.

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His irritation was undoubtedly borne out of his struggles prior to that point of his round and while it's something that all golfers have been tempted to do while their ball zaps past the hole, the majority resist the temptation.

In a day that may have otherwise been remembered for the playing conditions, Mickelson provided a freakish and unexpected moment.

"Look, I don't mean disrespect to anybody", he said. I know the rules and the ball was going to go off in a bad spot. I just didn't think well enough [on Saturday]. But it was just a moment - I think it's a moment of madness.

On Sunday, Mickelson returned to the 13th green and found a way to make fun of himself. I don't know if it would have saved me a shot or not. "We are operating strictly under [Rule] 14-5, which is pretty clear that he played a moving ball".

"It's meant to take advantage of the rules the best you can. Sometimes in these situations, it's just easier to take the 2 shots and move on".

What's unclear is why Mickelson lost his mind. "I've had an awesome day". A round that began with fans singing "Happy Birthday" to Mickelson as he walked down the first fairway went off the rails in a very odd way. The people have made coming here over the decades an awesome experience.

Phil Mickelson is all of us. He carded a 10 on the hole for a 5 over par. He had those four consecutive bogeys before a par at the 12th.

This is one of the more surprising things you'll see.

"Saturday is traditionally our peak day", says Janeen Driscoll, the USGA's communications director.

Then explaining it all away by saying he was simply taking advantage of the rules. He needed two more putts to get down from there.

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