Phil Mickelson’s Sunday: lightning, fire, police and then some golf

Phil Mickelson
Phil Mickelson
(Stuart Franklin / Getty Images)

Phil Mickelson is often “on fire” on the golf course, and he learned Sunday it’s not good to be that way off the course.

The golfer, in Medinah, Ill., for the BMW Championship, was locked out of his room for around 90 minutes because of a lightning strike that started a small fire at his hotel. All guests were evacuated as a precaution, meaning Mickelson was wandering around outside just a couple of hours before his tee time and couldn’t get back in to get his clubs.

Mickelson tweeted from outside the hotel, saying “How’s this for crazy? My hotel was struck by lighting, I was on top floor, we were evacuated and the place is on fire (only thing of mine on fire this week.) I can’t get back into my room and may miss my tee time because I am without clubs and clothes.”


The PGA Tour and police in Medinah got involved, expediting his return to his room. He arrived at Medinah County Club about 40 minutes before his tee time. He told the Associated Press that he only had time to swing a weighted club in the parking lot, then to hit a few drivers and chips on the range before heading to the course.

He shot a one-under-par 71 and finished the tournament tied for 48th.

There were no injuries from the fire, which was quickly extinguished.

Long and short of it

Speaking of on fire and Medinah, golfer Adam Scott criticized golf course designers for building courses that have become far too easy for the world’s best players. Justin Thomas and Jason Kokrak tied the course record Thursday when each shot a 65. Hideki Matsuyama broke the record Friday with a 63. That record lasted only one day, as Thomas shot a 61 on Saturday.

“If a golf course is soft, we’re just going to tear it apart,” Scott told AP. “They just, they haven’t figured out yet that long means nothing to us. You can’t build it long enough.

“And I’m not challenging them to build a longer golf course. I’m challenging them to build smarter golf courses.

“If you require us to shape tee shots to get it in play, we’re going to struggle. We just play straight. Everything straight. If you had to draw a driver to get it in the fairway, then we’re going to see different scores. But while there’s an option to go over trees and go over bunkers, it’s just relentless.”

Your favorite sports moment

What is your all-time favorite L.A. sports moment? Email me at and tell me what it is and why and it could appear in a future Morning Briefing.

Today’s moment comes from Harriet Ottaviano of Hillsboro, Ore.:

“Out of many outstanding L.A. sports moments, I would have to pick the 1984 Olympics. I had the great fortune to work at the press center for Fuji Film, ‘the official film of the 1984 Olympics.’ I would have worked for free, but they decided to pay me for five weeks, seven days a week, a 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. shift.


“I traded pins with photographers from all over the world, got to watch the TV feed without the chatty commentary (that was wonderful!), cheered with my Japanese co-workers when their athletes did well and they cheered for ours as well. The traffic and the weather were both on their best behavior. The 1984 Olympics was a source for pride for Los Angeles that may never be duplicated. It was certainly one of the high points of my life.”