When a pesky drone meddled with Phil Mickelson’s zen at the PGA Championship

drone phil mickelson

There’s never a dull moment with Phil Mickelson around. With nearly three decades of professional golf experience behind him, the guy has given fans some pretty wonderful and whacky “Phil being Phil’” anecdotes. But not many come close to what happened ahead of his victory at the 2021 PGA Championship in May 2021. And it involves a drone.

The PGA Championship win is the sixth major title of Mickelson’s long and storied career. The victory is also historic because picking up the cup at age 50 makes Mickelson the oldest winner of a major golf tournament.

And for someone who has admittedly had issues focusing on the course, Lefty – as he’s affectionately called – has worked extra hard to defy the traditional retirement ages for athletes.

Which is why when Mickelson feels like he’s in the zone, he wants to make sure the perfect shot wouldn’t get thwarted by something he could have controlled. At the PGA Championship, it was a drone.

Phil Mickelson finds drone use “annoying”

The incident happened on May 22 when Mickelson was playing the fourth hole at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort’s Ocean Course during the third round of the tournament.

As he prepared for the shot, Mickelson stepped away from the ball and appeared bothered. Golf’s fan-favorite had noticed a drone hovering in a distance. It was a TV camera drone deployed by CBS Sports to give viewers a more three-dimensional view of the course.

“Can we please move that drone from my flight,” the microphones picked Mickelson up saying. “Serious?”

The drone apparently was on his intended line. When he didn’t see anyone taking any action, he asked again:

Can you radio to the TV guys to move the drone out of the line of my shot? Not only is it annoying, but it’s gonna hit it.

From some 190 yards away? Yeah, like that could happen! But would Phil Mickelson even be Phil Mickelson if he didn’t make a quirky request during play?

The drone operator, of course, obliged and moved the bird away from Mickelson’s sightline, giving him the peace of mind he needed to make the shot. Interestingly, his approach did take the line the drone was on, but finished long and wound up in a bunker. No harm done though, as Mickelson walked away as a champion the next day.

Read more: Best under-$1,000 drones citizen journalists, photographers can buy in 2021

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