In the storied, three-decade career of Phil Mickelson playing elite golf, there’s a long list of moments where he’s felt so dialed in he’s made a request so that a perfect shot won’t get thwarted by something he could control.
Usually it just comes in the form of him having his caddie pull the pin from 100 yards out. But Saturday at Kiawah Island gave us an all-time Phil moment that puts all those pin pulls to shame.
While playing the 4th hole on the Ocean Course, Mickelson was safely in the fairway 187 yards away from the hole, playing into a stiff breeze. Beyond the hole, and well above the green, a drone hummed along from right to left, recording Mickelson below.
Drones have become ubiquitous on PGA Tour broadcasts, particularly since the Covid pandemic removed spectators from the action, providing a different angle to the tournaments we’d never seen before. They were even instituted at the November Masters in 2020, to the delight of viewers.
Mickelson was not delighted Saturday.
“Can we please move that drone from my flight,” he asked, stepping off his shot. “Serious?”
Mickelson was set up to play a draw with a 6-iron, and the drone was on his intended line, though it was certainly not going to be struck by his shot. When there was no direct action by the drone or the broadcast team, he asked again.
“Can you radio to the TV guys to move the drone out of the line of my shot,” Mickelson said. “Not only is it annoying, but it’s gonna hit it.”
Yep, from 190 yards away! Does it get any better than that?
“It’s moving, but I don’t think it was ever a threat. No chance,” said CBS on-course reporter Dottie Pepper.
She’s likely correct, but are we at liberty to doubt Lefty? His approach did take the line the drone was on, but finished long and in a greenside bunker.