Mickelson incurs penalty after hitting moving ball

But while most of the players were talking about pin positions that were unfair in light of the speed of the greens on another dry, breezy Saturday afternoon, the talk among those who were watching the tournament at the end of the day was all about fan-favorite Phil Mickelson's freakish reaction to a missed putt on the 13th hole-and whether the golfer should have been disqualified from the tournament for having stopped his ball from rolling off the green on the 13th hole.

The USGA said overnight watering would reduce green speeds, and hole locations would be set up to be more accessible to players.

With rounds of 77-69-81, Mickelson finished 54 holes at 17 over par and is tied for 64th. I've had multiple times where I have wanted to do that, I just finally did it.

The incident will always dog the colourful and often controversial Californian - he later told critics to "toughen up" - but Mickelson's mad-cap moment was just the start on a insane day at Shinnecock Hills.

It was a childish display from a five-time major victor celebrating his 48th birthday.

The left-hander was happy to accept a two-shot penalty under Rule 14-5, which covers "making a stroke at a moving ball", although many observers felt he was lucky to avoid disqualification under Rule 1-2, which states that a "player who wilfully deflects or stops his ball to gain a competitive advantage should be disqualified".

Johnston and Mickelson shared a laugh about it going off the 13th green, but Johnston wasn't quite sure what he was laughing about.

While some on Fox voiced the view that "well, gee, if we look at this by the rules, maybe Phil should have been disqualified, but remember he's such a good guy...", Curtis Strange (a former player effectively in the same fraternity with Mickelson) conducted an interview with the man himself that was downright pathetic.

The incident on Mickelson's 48th birthday brought to mind a similar episode by John Daly during the 1999 U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2.

Switzerland Holds Brazil to a 1-1 Draw
The draw gives both teams one point in Group E - behind Serbia who have three points after a 1-0 win over Costa Rica. Brazil opened scoring on 20 minutes from Philippe Coutinho's long range strike that beat the Swiss' goalkeeper .

Playing alongside Andrew "Beef" Johnston Saturday, Mickelson and his playing partner chuckled about the incident walking to the 14 tee.

Asked whether he thought his actions were disrespectful, Mickelson added: "It was meant to take advantage of the rules as best as you can".

I'm going out on a limb here, but I predict that Mickelson won't win the tournament.

However, Berger's score, which equalled the lowest of the week so far, proved that it was possible to make up ground, the world number 43 carding six birdies and two bogeys to move just outside the top 10.

- Look, I don't mean disrespect by anybody. I think he just snapped.

Amid the furore, there was still a golf tournament to be won, and when Dustin Johnson missed a putt on the final green he fell back into a four-way share of the lead going into Sunday's final round. "I feel like you've got to take it from me, to be honest".

Daly, however, already had a reputation for being wild and unpredictable, whereas Mickelson's reputation as American golf's golden man has been cultivated over almost three decades of exemplary behavior on the course. It's something you might see at your home course with your mates or something. "I'll gladly take my two strokes and move on".

"If somebody is offended by that, I apologize to them but toughen up".

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