WATCH: When Phil Mickelson’s Tee Shot Bizarrely Ended Up in Someone’s Shorts

Published 06/21/2022, 8:30 AM EDT
MEMPHIS, TN – AUGUST 06: Phil Mickelson gives a thumbs up to the crowd at the No. 18 green during the second round of the World Golf Championships-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, August 6, 2021 at TPC Southwind in Memphis, Tennessee. (Photo by Matthew Maxey/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Fans or spectators are the main assets of a sports event as they always brighten up a tournament. Sometimes, they also tend to go overboard and create hilarious moments. Such an incident happened when Phil Mickelson accidentally shot a ball into the crowd during a PGA Tour event. 

According to USGA, one of the main rules of golf is to play the ball from where it lies. Therefore, when Lefty’s ball bounced into a spectator’s shorts at the 2012 Northern Trust Open, he did what he had to do! He didn’t move the ball and lay straight on the ground until the game officials came to mark the ball! 


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Usually, when a ball in motion is accidentally deflected or stopped by an external object, the golfer can play from where it lies. Hence, the spectator not moving from the place helped Mickelson and the event officials to spot the ball’s position. 

It was a valiant effort by the fan. However, since him moving wouldn’t have caused Mickelson a penalty, the commentators and even the golfer found it hilarious. However, the fan did get a signed glove from the 6-time major winner, following which he celebrated happily. 

Did Phil Mickelson win the tournament after the fan’s heroic action?

Phil Mickelson played his heart out at the 2012 Northern Trust Open to respect the fan’s effort. He scored 66-70-70-71 in the four rounds and scored an overall 7-under par, making him one of the three to tie for the first place. 


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However, his fellow American golfer Billy Haas beat Lefty and Keegan Bradley in the three-men playoff. At the end of the day, Mickelson had to be happy with his T2 position. 

Notably, the Northern Trust Open is known as the Genesis Open since 2017, as its sponsor changed. Interestingly, it was Los Angeles Open back when it was formed.  

Has Lefty ever won the Northern Trust Open title? 


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The now 51-year-old couldn’t win the 2012 event. However, he had won the event twice in the past. 

September 21, 2021; Kohler, Wisconsin, USA; U.S. Team vice-captain Phil Mickelson waves to the fans along the eighth hole during a practice round for the 43rd Ryder Cup golf competition at Whistling Straits. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

In fact, Mickelson is the 7th player to win it back to back; He won in 2008 and 2009. He also became the first player since Ben Hogan to follow up a runner-up finish with consecutive victories. 


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Notably, the golfer hasn’t won the event since the hilarious incident at the 2012 Open. Did the fan accidentally jinx the player? All the jokes aside, would you have done the same thing as the audience member if something similar could have happened to you? 



Anjana Prabhakaran

689 articles

Anjana Prabhakaran is a Golf content writer at EssentiallySports. She has completed her Master's degree in Public Administration and considers researching as one of her hobbies. As her family is interested in sports, Anjana grew up watching every sport on television.