Phil Mickelson had an adventurous couple of holes coming in at Muirfield Village during the first round of The Memorial Tournament en route to a four-under 68. I mean, as we’ve seen over the years, Mickelson sure likes to keep things errrr…interesting.
On the par-4 14th, he had 133 yards to the pin and put a little too much on it, causing it to land in the grandstands, bounce over onto the cart path and then eventually rolling into the water hazard. So, he had to go back as close as possible to the original spot, where he then took a sand wedge and knocked it to 20 feet. Naturally, Mickelson made the putt to save bogey.
“I could try (to explain what happened on 14), but it probably wouldn’t satisfy any questions that I still had,” said Mickelson. “Go figure. It was looking like 5 either way or worse.”
He was pretty fortunate to escape with a bogey.
On the very next hole, Mickelson’s drive knocked a marshal right smack in the head. Instead of going into the trees on the left, the ball ricocheted off the marshal’s head and across the fairway into the intermediate rough.
Mickelson, who probably leads the Tour in hitting people with wayward drives, was very impressed with the marshal’s ability to take the head shot.
“I saw the ball shoot across the fairway, but usually when you hit somebody, you’ll see people congregate,” said Mickelson. “So I thought maybe it hit a cart or hit something else, but it hit this guy in the head. He looked like Ali taking hits because he didn’t go down. He didn’t go down at all. He was just laughing about it. Yeah, no big deal. Hit me in the head.
“And the ball went shooting across the fairway from the right rough into the left rough. I don’t know how it did. He was smiling. I don’t know how he took it. That was impressive.”
Mickelson took it a step further, saying it was the most jaw-dropping performance by anyone he’s hit with a golf ball.
“I’ve hit a lot of people, a lot of people,” he said. “Nobody’s taken it that well as marshal did on 15.”
For his trouble, the marshal received a signed glove. Just in case, I think he should have his head looked at by a doctor. He is probably going to be pretty sore tonight and I wouldn’t be surprised if he wakes up with a splitting headache in the morning.
Mickelson is currently T13 after the opening round, trailing leader Dustin Johnson by four shots.