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Phil Mickelson reacts to a shot from the fescue on the fifth hole during Saturday's third round of the U.S. Open.

Mickelson, who was already four over par for the day on his 48th birthday, badly overhit a putt on the 13th green which looked in danger of rolling off the putting surface.

Mickelson hit his putt while it was still moving and was hit with a two-stoke penalty.

"I don't mean disrespect by anybody, I know it's a two-shot penalty, and at that time I just didn't feel like going back and forth and hitting the same shot over, I took the 2-shot penalty and moved on", he explained.

John Bodenhamer, the USGA's senior managing director of championships and governance, said the tournament's rules committee quickly convened and unanimously determined that Mickelson's actions did not fit under that category. The ball began racing toward the front of the green, threatening to fall down the false front.

Mickelson marked his birthday by equalling his worst round in 27 US Open appearances, firing an 11-over 81 to match the score he shot at Pebble Beach 25 years earlier.

Contributing to his downfall was a meltdown on the par four 13th.

Although he's 10 adrift - on a Shinnecock Hills course that has punished some of the world's best - Mickelson wasn't downhearted. It just got to him. "You take the two shots and you move on".

It was a shocking display on the 13th green at Shinnecock Hills on Saturday.

Mickelson, who will have an early tee time, thinks a similar charge isn't out of the realm of possibility. "I've had multiple times where I've wanted to do that, I just finally did".