Mahan and Donaldson in 'crazy' ball mix-up at U.S. Open

Fri Jun 13, 2014 4:23pm EDT
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By Andrew Both

(Reuters) - American Hunter Mahan and Welshman Jamie Donaldson incurred two-stroke penalties for playing each other's ball during the second round at the U.S. Open on Friday.

The mistake was particularly costly for Mahan, who seemed likely to miss the cut by just one stroke at Pinehurst No. 2 where half the field was yet to complete the second round.

The mix-up occurred at the par-four 18th, where the players failed to identify their respective balls before hitting their second shots. It was not until they reached the green that they realized their mistake.

Mahan's caddie, John Wood, publicly accepted the blame.

"It's hard to believe I did something that dumb, but I did," Wood told reporters.

"Off the tee it looked like Hunter's (ball) was in the left center (of the fairway) and Jamie's was on the left edge. And we got up there and they were switched and we didn't realize it.

"It's just one of those things you scratch your head at. I almost want to see the video of the tee shots to see what happened to them in the fairway."

Wood said the only mitigating factor was that both players mark their balls with a similar slash across the number.   Continued...