Forecaddie: When it comes to pranking Phil Mickelson, 'Payback is a bitch'

Phil Mickelson at 49 Darren Carroll/Getty Images

Forecaddie: When it comes to pranking Phil Mickelson, 'Payback is a bitch'

Forecaddie

Forecaddie: When it comes to pranking Phil Mickelson, 'Payback is a bitch'

By

Phil Mickelson’s “Phireside Chats” on Twitter have taken on a life of their own, the latest posting an outtake from his hilarious visit with Seinfeld co-creator and Curb Your Enthusiasm star Larry David.

Filmed during a day spent playing golf together at Riviera CC in Pacific Palisades, California, David, as only he can, calls out Mickelson for using daughter Amanda’s high school graduation ceremony as an excuse to skip the 2017 U.S. Open. Mickelson said of the comedian David, “He’s such a fun guy to be around because you don’t know if he’s in character or not half the time.”

The Man Out Front hates to admit it but he didn’t see Mickelson, social media savant coming. After all, it was only about a year ago that Mickelson joined Twitter as a means to promote The Match, his $10 million winner-take-all duel with Tiger Woods.

“It’s very, very Phil,” Justin Thomas says of Mickelson’s Twitter account. “At the beginning of it, my buddies are like, ‘It’s not him.’ I’m like, ‘Trust me, it’s him.’ If you read the stuff he says back and watch everything, it’s nobody but Phil. He loves it, he enjoys it, and I think he’s understanding why a lot of us use it…I think he’s enjoying it a lot more than he thought he was going to. I know I am.”

TMOF will second that notion and can’t wait to see, in the grand tradition of Phil being Phil, what will Phil do next? TMOF would like to nominate a Phireside Chat of the snail story. Don’t know it? Well, gather round the campfire, boys and girls, and TMOF will do his best to ‘Phil you in.’

Shriners Hospitals for Children Open: Leaderboard | Tee times | Photos
More: Mickelson finds form with 65 Thursday in Vegas

This one dates to the 2003 Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii at the Plantation Course at Kapalua. For those who’ve never been so fortunate, there is a steep climb to the fifth tee so players are shuttled there via carts. Mickelson and Rocco Mediate were playing a practice round together and made a bet that the loser in getting to the tee had to buy lunch.

While they were finishing the fourth hole, Mediate’s caddie, Pete Bender, a wily veteran celebrating his 50th year on the bag on either the PGA Tour or PGA Tour Champions this season, found a gigantic snail on a cart path and placed it on the passenger side of the cart intending it for Mickelson’s caddie, Jim “Bones” Mackay.

But by the time the players raced to the cart, the snail had crawled to the driver’s side of the cart. To Phil’s side. In his rush to get to the next tee, he never saw it. Squish.

“The snail went all over his pants,” Bender tells TMOF. “I couldn’t help but laugh. Phil asks me if I had anything to do with it and I explained that I had put it on the other side. He looks at me and says, ‘Payback is a bitch.’ ”

Yes, it is. Especially when Mickelson is behind it – pun intended.

“Here’s the thing, I won’t forget,” Mickelson explains. “I’m going to get you one way or the other. But I don’t want you to be on your toes. It has to be when you least expect it. That’s what I like.”

Fast-forward three years and Bender is now on the bag for Australian Aaron Baddeley at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone CC in Akron, Ohio. They are paired with Mickelson in the third round and the pros are busy signing scorecards in the scoring tent after the round when a couple of cops gestured for Bender to come over.

“They said, ‘Is your name Pete Bender? We have a warrant out for your arrest.’ I started thinking, What did I do wrong?” Bender recalls.

One of Akron’s finest cuffed him and stuck Bender in the squad car in front of all the spectators, and he sat there at a loss for what he’d done for at least five minutes. Finally, Baddeley and Mickelson come out of scoring and approach the police car in search of an explanation. The cop rolls the window down and Mickelson asks, ‘What’s going on here?’ That’s when over the police CB-radio a voice answers, ‘We have a warrant for your arrest for illegal placement of snails.’ ”

“That’s when I realized Phil got me,” Bender says. “He was laughing so hard. He waited two years, and he goes, ‘I told you payback would be a bitch.’ ”

As TMOF always says, revenge is a dish best served cold.

Latest

More Forecaddie
Home