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Phil Mickelson rockets tee shot off hotel and onto balcony at St. Andrews

The Road Hole is a blind tee shot over a wall and a hotel, and this ball left the course and never came back.

Phil Mickelson made a run to the top of the leaderboard Monday morning, but any delusional hopes of a shot at the British Open title were lost on the 17th "Road Hole." That's where Phil piped one right out of bounds and onto a room's balcony at the Old Course Hotel. He re-teed and will try to save a double bogey.

The run to actually winning was never happening. It was foolish to get your hopes up or even entertain the possibility.

But Mickelson was two shots back of the lead at the Open Championship. He could have been tied or sitting alone at the top if not for a couple of missed opportunities and putts that burned the edge on his front nine Monday. Mickelson told ESPN's Billy Kratzert in one of his earliest fairways that he thought a round of 62 was out there for the early wave and if the weather turned and the wind started to blow for the late tee times then ...

Mickelson shot 40 spots up the leaderboard Monday morning before the leaders even hit a shot. He posted an outward 3-under 33 that featured four missed putts for birdie inside about 10 feet, so it could have been something really special. St. Andrews has been mostly defenseless for the second straight day. The wind is not severe and it's so soft on an already shorter course that these world-class players are stuffing wedges and high-lofts clubs into almost every hole.

Any miracle chance, however, ends when you hit it onto a hotel balcony. The final resting place:

Michelson's lie on 17 after his drive. That's a hotel balcony

A photo posted by @benvolin on

★★★

SB Nation video archives: The toughest holes in all of golf (2014)