MEDINAH, Ill. – It turns out Phil Mickelson wasn’t the only PGA Tour player whose routine was disrupted by a lightning strike and hotel fire ahead of the final round of the BMW Championship.
Like Mickelson, J.T. Poston is staying this week at the Eaglewood Resort & Spa, which sits less than a mile from tournament host Medinah Country Club. Poston was in the hotel at approximately 9:15 a.m. ET when lightning struck the roof, sparking a roof fire that led to an evacuation of the building.
A winner earlier this month at the Wyndham Championship, Poston was nearly en route to the course ahead of his 12:03 p.m. ET tee time when the evacuation process began. But with the hotel thrown into chaos, he encountered an unexpected problem.
“I couldn’t get to my car,” Poston said. “I was pretty much ready to go but I couldn’t get my car out of there because of all the fire trucks and stuff.”
Poston waited about 20 minutes for the scene to clear, and he tried to hitch a ride from caddie Aaron Flener who was staying at another nearby property. But he made little progress with the on-site traffic jam, and Flener was denied access to the area in his own car, leaving Poston with little choice but to get creative.
“I ended up walking over here,” Poston said. “Someone told me that there was a spectator gate over by 5 green. So I just headed that way and a rules official picked me up once I got through the gate.”
Poston started the final round in a tie for 24th at 8 under, and entering the week 36th in points he’ll need a strong finish to crack the top 30 and earn his first Tour Championship appearance.
“It was wild,” Poston said. “Definitely never had that happen before, especially before the final round of a tournament.”