Bizarre ending results in Phil Mickelson WGC-Match Play victory

AUSTIN, Texas -- Neither played particularly well, but Phil Mickelson and Daniel Berger were nonetheless tied when they came to the 18th hole at Austin Country Club, an up-and-down, back-and-forth match coming to the final hole.

That's when things turned bizarre.

With Mickelson's tee shot in the fairway and facing an approach of roughly 100 yards, Berger found himself left of the fairway, but near a rock-supported tee -- from which he was not allowed to take relief.

That meant Berger, 22, had an awkward shot because his backswing would be hindered.

After several minutes of trying to figure out the shot and taking practice swings to see if he would clear the rocks ... sure enough, Berger hit the rocks on his downswing, resulting in a whiff, a dropped club and an injured wrist.

"I could hit it right at the hole," said Berger, who still expects to play Friday. "I took a couple practice swings. I knew it was going to be close. The practice swing is never exactly like the full-on, aggressive swing that I'm making. I think I just got a little -- my natural swing is to drop it in a little bit. It wasn't the actual hitting the rock that hurt. It was when the club flipped around and my wrist went in the complete opposite direction."

Berger was disappointed he didn't at least give himself a chance to chip onto the green and make a par. Instead, he conceded the hole to Mickelson after the whiff.

It was an odd end to a match that saw Mickelson take an early 2-up lead before settling into a late battle that had no birdies on the back nine.

"Neither one of us really won any holes,'' said Mickelson, who nonetheless has not trailed at any point over the first two days and faces 2-0 Patrick Reed on Friday. "We handed each other holes back and forth. And it wasn't a match either of us had hoped for. Under these difficult conditions when you start to hit it less than perfect it gets magnified. But it will be an interesting match tomorrow against Patrick Reed. I'm looking forward to an opportunity to play against him."