Lightning strike leaves Mickelson clubless

The 49-year-old American is staying like many other players and officials at the Eaglewood Hotel, close to the course, but surely reckoned without it being struck by lightning Sunday morning.

A fire ensued after the strike, with the Chicago fire department arriving on the scene to put it out, but also evacuating the hotel guests, including Mickelson.

With a scheduled early tee off time at 10.52 am local, Mickelson was left without his clubs and clothes and used social media to share his dilemma.

Fortunately, ‘Lefty’ was allowed back in just in time and arrived at the course with about half an hour to spare for this fourth round, needing a miraculous charge up the field to have any chance of making the top 30 qualifying for the Tour Championship finale at East Lake next week.

Sadly, after his early morning hiatus, Mickelson could find little inspiration in his final round and still searching for the form that saw him win for the 44th time on the PGA Tour at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am back in February.

He finished with a one-under-par 71 for five-under overall.

His longtime arch-rival Tiger Woods also failed to qualify for East Lake, where he would have been defending champion, briefly raising hopes with two early birdies before dropping back down the field.

He eventually finished with a level-par 72 for 281 – seven-under-par.

Justin Thomas carried a five-shot lead into the final round, with tee times brought forward because of the uncertain weather forecast with storms in the Chicago area.

Victory would see him take over at top spot in the FedEx standings from Brooks Koepka, who partnered Micklelson in the final round and finished with his best round of the week, a five-under-par 67, but still some way off the pace.