Golfers like Phil Mickelson face various distractions on the golf course. Everything from a sneezing fan to a news helicopter can cause a player to stop and stare. Often, photographer’s lenses snapping away are the cause of consternation for golfers, so one can imagine being annoyed when thousands of camera phones go off at once.
According to the Sacramento Bee, PGA star Phil Mickelson is having none of that. A huge gallery of fans followed Mickelson, Rickie Fowler and Bubba Watson during Thursday’s first round of the Memorial, and it had a bad effect on his game. Mickelson shot an opening round of 79 before withdrawing.
“It took Phil out of his game,” Watson told the Sacramento Bee concerning the continual noise from cell phone-camera shutters.
Mickelson, according to USA Today, sent a text message to PGA Commissioner Tim Finchem expressing his displeasure. The PGA allows fans to bring their phones and allows the taking of pictures not during play. Many fans ignore this restriction and don’t turn their smart phones on silent.
“There were a few phones out there,” Fowler told The Bee. “There were a few times when we had to back off and reset. You could see Phil was a little fatigued and was having trouble blocking it out a bit.”
Banning phones isn’t a solution, as fans unable to bring their phones in the digital age might stay home, but an increased number of security and volunteers could go a long way toward keeping golfers like Phil Mickelson from getting upset about camera phones, and then sending text messages to the commissioner.
(Photo by Jim Epler from San Diego, USA, via Wikimedia Commons)