Commuting is a tricky business in the Southland, even by air, which is what Phil Mickelson discovered Wednesday. Mickelson's flight from the San Diego area was diverted from Santa Monica to Burbank because of fog, forcing Mickelson to switch his Northern Trust Open pro-am tee time with John Daly.
"It was below minimum before we took off and the same when we got here," Mickelson said.
Mickelson was scheduled to go off at 11:10 a.m. but alerted PGA Tour rules officials of his problems while in the air. Daly agreed to let Mickelson have his noon time.
Mickelson estimated it took 50 minutes to drive from Burbank to Riviera Country Club and arrived in time to warm up briefly and also tape a show for the Golf Channel.
Mickey Bradley, a PGA Tour competition and rules official, said switching tee times is commonplace. However, a missed tee time in a pro-am results in the player being disqualified from the tournament, which is what happened to Retief Goosen here in 2005 when he overslept.
"It would have been a different story if he had missed his tee time," Bradley said. "He owes a debt of gratitude to fellow competitor John Daly for making the switch."
Mickelson missed the pro-am at the 2007 Byron Nelson but was allowed to play after thunderstorms delayed his flight from Little Rock, Ark. The PGA Tour cited "extenuating circumstances."