Mickelson late to the course after lightning hits hotel

(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

By DOUG FERGUSON

AP Golf Writer

MEDINAH, Ill. (AP) Phil Mickelson had a wild Sunday, and that was before he showed up for the BMW Championship.

Mickelson said on Twitter that lightning struck the hotel where he was staying, leading to an evacuation. One problem: He was staying on the top floor, his clubs were in his room and his tee time at Medinah was approaching.

"Kind of a funny deal," Mickelson said after ending his season with a 71 to fail to reach the Tour Championship. "The building got struck by lightning right above me and blew out a brick chimney and caught fire a little bit. There were 10 fire trucks. I got in my car and left and couldn't get back. The roads were closed and the hotel was closed."

Mickelson didn't sound as though he were overly concerned, saying it would have meant heading home to San Diego that much sooner.

"But things cleared up pretty quickly," he said. "I was able to get back in and get my stuff."

Mickelson eventually got to the course in time to change shoes in the parking lot, but not after a tweet saying that his clubs served as a fire retardant. He headed to the range to warm up, pausing only to answer the phone when his wife called to check on him.

He told her at one point, "I tweeted it."

By the end of the day, Mickelson said everything worked out fine "except for my score."

After winning at Pebble Beach in February, Mickelson had only one finish inside the top 20 the rest of the year, a tie for 18th at the Masters. His eight missed cuts were the most for him since 1995.

He also failed to qualify for the Presidents Cup team and could be left off a U.S. team for the first time since 1993. U.S. captain Tiger Woods makes his four wild-card picks on Nov. 5. Mickelson has only two tournaments on his schedule before then.

"If I play well I might try to add a couple in Asia to try to warrant a pick," Mickelson said. "If I'm not playing well, I probably won't."

He also wasn't ready to comment on whether he would talk to Woods about being an assistant, saying he was mentally and physically tired and needed time to decompress.

"I've had a rough four, five months, probably the worse four, five months stretch of my career," he said. "I'm looking forward to having a couple months off and kind of regrouping and come back fresh."

Updated August 18, 2019