Phil Mickelson's decision to play a practice round at Bethpage Black on Tuesday didn't come on an impulse, but it did create a stealth arrival on a rainy day at the U.S. Open venue.
Mickelson left his home in the San Diego area at 10:45 p.m. Monday, arriving at Bethpage Black just before 8:30 a.m. Heavy morning rain prevented him from going on the course until 11 a.m. Accompanied by caddie Jim "Bones" MacKay and short-game coach Dave Pelz, Mickelson was able to get in afternoon practice before leaving for Tennessee. He texted me while on the course to say, "It was a last-minute decision to redeye," adding, "that's the nice perk or advantage those have with access to plane."
The itinerary called for Mickelson to fly into Memphis Tuesday evening, do a news conference Wednesday at noon central time., play in one of the last pro-am., then tee it up Thursday morning at 7:25 with Padraig Harrington and Cameron Beckman.
-- Tim Rosaforte