Phil Mickelson once tricked caddie Jim “Bones” Mackay into thinking he was getting arrested.
The prank took place before the opening round of the 1997 U.S. Open.
Mackay said that the driving range shut down to watch him get fake arrested at Mickelson’s behest.
Through his three decades on the PGA Tour, Phil Mickelson has established himself as quite a prankster.
From trading barbs with his greatest rival Tiger Woods, to needling talented players who have yet to win the big one, Mickelson knows how to deploy trash talk both to his benefit on the course and his personal entertainment.
But according to former caddie Jim “Bones” Mackay, even Mickelson’s own team weren’t spared from his pranking eye.
Speaking with the podcast “No Laying Up” after Mickelson’s astounding win at the PGA Championship, Mackay, who carried Mickelson’s bag for 25 years before splitting from Lefty in 2017, said that Mickelson once had him believing he was about to be arrested minutes before the start of a major.
Mackay said that ahead of the first round of the 1997 U.S. Open at Congressional, he had picked up Mickelson before driving to the course.
Arriving midday for their 1:30 tee time, the pair struggled to find a parking spot at the course, before Mickelson finally spotted one. While backing up to get into the spot, someone passing by on foot bumped into their car.
“He’s on his phone, doing this, doing that, he’s not paying attention to what he’s doing. So at some point this guy takes a left turn and walks right into the side of the car,” Mackay said. “He just kind of bumps off it and goes ‘Oh I’m sorry’ and goes about his business. I park the car and Phil goes in to change his shoes.”
Mackay didn’t think much of the interaction, until Mickelson deployed his plan on the driving range.
“I’ve been there for about 10 minutes and there’s a tap on my shoulder and I think it’s Phil, and it’s two state troopers, who say, ‘Excuse me sir, we’ve just been told that you were involved in a hit-and-run in the parking lot here,'” Mackay said.
“I’m like, ‘Hit and run? I was going a mile an hour! The guy walked into the car!’ He goes ‘That’s not what we heard, can you step over here and talk to us?’
“So now the range has come to a complete standstill and everyone is looking around at me getting arrested basically, and I just happen to glance over one of these state troopers shoulders and I see Phil’s head pop out from behind a tree laughing his rear-end off.”
Mackay said that these antics weren’t out of the ordinary – they were just Phil being Phil.
“Thursday at the U.S. Open, you’d have thought he had better things to do at that particular moment, but he wanted to have a little fun with me.”
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