(Reuters) – The sporting expression “caught fire” took on a literal meaning on Sunday as several players at the BMW Championship, including Phil Mickelson, were affected by a fire at their hotel.
A lightning strike caused a blaze on the top floor of the Eaglewood Resort, which is adjacent to Medinah Country Club, within walking distance in a pinch.
That was good news for J.T. Poston, the winner of the Wyndham Championship earlier this month, who ended up walking to the course after his car was blocked in by emergency vehicles.
Mickelson arrived on wheels, but only after fretting he would not be able to return to his room to collect his clubs following the mandatory evacuation.
“I can’t get back into my room and may miss my tee time because I am without clubs and clothes,” he tweeted while he waited.
After more than an hour, the five-times major champion was allowed to retrieve his clubs and arrived at the course about 40 minutes before his tee time, not long enough for his usual full warm-up but in plenty of time nonetheless.
“Turns out my clubs acted as a fire retardant,” Mickelson tweeted. “Lucky me.”
Neither Mickelson nor Poston was in contention starting the final round.
Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; editing by Tony Lawrence