Augusta National Golf Club is one of the most hallowed courses on the planet, and people who get the chance to experience its magic during The Masters are expected to stay on their best behavior, but Phil Mickelson has apparently had a little bit of trouble following the rules.
The spectators Augusta National officially refers to as “patrons” are banned from running, using their phone, or wearing a backward hat while on the grounds, and the golfers who participate in The Masters also need to abide by certain regulations.
It should go without saying that the list of requirements includes “Not stealing anything,” but Mickelson was apparently unable to resist the urge to do exactly that after winning his first green jacket in 2004.
Lefty recently posted a video where he detailed a drill he was using back then to get some of the wrinkles out of his iron game, which involved laying out towels at certain distances on the range to work on his accuracy.
He said that helped him win The Masters in 2004 (which marked the first of three victories he’s racked up at Augusta National), and while he planned to do the same the following year, he was greeted by a new sign on the practice range he was using informing him it was reserved for “Short Game Practice Only.”
Story time with Phil (me:)
Enjoy 😊 pic.twitter.com/koePrh38Il
— Phil Mickelson (@PhilMickelson) August 25, 2023
Well, Mickelson was having none of that, and he hatched a plan to linger a bit after the Champions Dinner before sneaking onto the range in the dead of night to steal the sign and stash it in the back of his courtesy SUV so he could keep doing the drill for the rest of the week.
The sign had returned the following year, and while Phil pulled the same move en route to winning The Masters for the second time in three years, he soon discovered a flaw in his plan: the security cameras that had captured him pulling off the late-night heists.
While Mickelson was caught red-handed, it appears he was spared the kind of retribution handed out to a guy who got arrested and cost himself $20,000 after stealing sand from a bunker, as he capped off the video by showing off one of the signs he still has in his possession.