Welcome to the U.S. Open, Jon Curran
Padraig Harrington, playing in a threesome with Phil Mickelson and Y.E. Yang, was getting ready to perform a flop shot from the thick rough behind the 16th green when all of a sudden, a ball flew over the stands and bounced onto the green in front of him. Harrington backed off, then scuffed his shot and eventually made bogey. Mickelson marked the ball, which had come to rest about four feet from the hole.
Once the threesome walked off to No. 17, it became clear that the ball had been hit off the third tee by Jon Curran, a Massachusetts pro from the Hooters Tour. He waited for the group behind Mickelson's to hit up, then waited for a long, long time for a ruling. Curran, who qualified for his first Open by winning a playoff at Canoe Brook in Summit, N.J., waited as his two playing partners stood on the third green, waiting for him.
The group behind Curran's hit off the third tee and waited--golfers sitting on their bags in the fairway--while Curran got a ruling. Meanwhile, the group behind the group behind Mickelson waited to hit into 16 while Curran awaited his ruling.
Finally, Curran was allowed to drop off the fringe of the 16th green. He hit an iron onto the fringe of the third green and made par--having affected five groups.