The 49-year-old American is staying like many other players and officials at the Eaglewood Hotel, close to the course, but surely reckoned without it being struck by lightning Sunday morning.
A fire ensued after the strike, with the Chicago fire department arriving on the scene to put it out, but also evacuating the hotel guests, including Mickelson.
With a scheduled early tee off time at 10.52 am local, Mickelson was left without his clubs and clothes and used social media to share his dilemma.
Fortunately, ‘Lefty’ was allowed back in just in time and arrived at the course with about half an hour to spare for this fourth round, needing a miraculous charge up the field to have any chance of making the top 30 qualifying for the Tour Championship finale at East Lake next week.
Sadly, after his early morning hiatus, Mickelson could find little inspiration in his final round and still searching for the form that saw him win for the 44th time on the PGA Tour at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am back in February.
He finished with a one-under-par 71 for five-under overall.
His longtime arch-rival Tiger Woods also failed to qualify for East Lake, where he would have been defending champion, briefly raising hopes with two early birdies before dropping back down the field.
He eventually finished with a level-par 72 for 281 – seven-under-par.
Victory went to third round leader Justin Thomas, who held off a determined challenge from fellow American Patrick Cantlay to win by three strokes on 25-under-par.
Cantlay carded a final round 65 with Hideki Matsuyama of Japan a further two shots back after a brilliant nine-under 63.
Thomas has taken over top spot in the FedEx Cup standings from Brooks Koepka, who partnered Mickelson in the final round and finished with a five-under-par 67, his best of the week.
Cantlay has also moved ahead of Koepka into second place, but with all still to play for in the season-ending tournament in Atlanta.