Phil Mickelson almost missed his Sunday tee time because his hotel caught fire.
Every week on the PGA Tour, on the Wednesday before a tournament begins, the world's best players play with an amateur in a pro-am. The amateurs are often executives at a company sponsoring the event, or wealthy individuals willing to shell out a hefty sum (usually for charity) to play with the world's best players.
Sometimes, just sometimes, the amateur is one of the best and most famous athletes on planet Earth.
Phil Mickelson's partner at this week's pro-am is none other than Stephen Curry—two-time NBA MVP, three-time champion and a hell of a golfer himself.
The pairing makes a great deal of sense. Mickelson is the biggest name teeing it up in this week's Safeway Open, which is taking place at the Silverado Resort in Napa—about an hour north of San Francisco, where Curry's Warriors will play their home games starting this season.
Curry, roughly a scratch handicap who has played in two Korn Ferry Tour events, greeted the five-time major champion with an allusion to Mickelson's viral comment from last year's Masters: "I'm ready to hit bombs."
If his first swing was any indication, he was not kidding.
Curry's connection with golf runs deeper than just his game—he has discussed hosting a PGA Tour event in the Oakland area, he hosted an ABC mini-golf show called Holey Moley, and just last week, Under Armour released a Curry signature golf apparel line.
Perhaps playing with Curry can help Mickelson snap out of a disturbingly long slump, a slump which has jeopardized his 25-year streak of being ranked inside the world top 50. Since winning the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in January, Mickelson has zero top-15 finishes and seven missed cuts in 16 starts. As a result, he has dropped to No. 43 in the world rankings.
Curry isn't the only non-golfer athlete at the Safeway this week—Tony Romo is competing in the competition, which will mark his fourth PGA Tour start. Should he make the cut for the first time, he would have to miss calling the Vikings-Bears NFL game for CBS.