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Mickelson to skip U.S. Open to attend daughter's graduation
June 03, 2017
By Ben Everill, PGATOUR.COM
- Phil Mickelson will also deliver the commencement address at his daughter's graduation. (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, Ohio – World Golf Hall-of-Famer Phil Mickelson has announced he will likely forego a spot in the upcoming U.S. Open at Erin Hills in order to attend his daughter’s high school graduation in California, which is scheduled the same day as the tournament’s first round.
Mickelson, a 42-time PGA TOUR winner, five-time major winner and six-time U.S. Open runner up, will almost certainly withdraw from the only major championship he has failed to win. Instead he will watch daughter Amanda graduate and give the commencement address at Pacific Ridge School in Carlsbad on June 15. She is set to enter Brown University in the fall.
“My daughter is graduating and she’s the school president… and I'm going to be there,” Mickelson confirmed.
“Unfortunately, it comes on the Thursday of the Open, around 10:00 in the morning Pacific. So, there's just really no way to make it, no matter what the tee time is.”
Mickelson said only a major weather delay or unforeseen circumstance with the graduation ceremony will see him in the field.
The final spots in the field will be awarded after 36-hole qualifiers at sites across the country on Monday.
“I didn't want Mike Davis and the USGA to be caught off guard when they made their pairings for television on Wednesday, and I want the alternate to know that he most likely will be in and to prepare properly,” Mickelson added.
“Mike and I both agree there's no sense in doing it right now, you never know what might happen, maybe something comes up with the commencement, maybe something comes up with the weather. I don't know what will happen, but it doesn't look very good. It would have to be something unforeseen. “I wanted to make sure that they had enough notice to accommodate it. So that's why I'm saying something today. But it doesn't look good for me playing. But I'm really excited about this moment in our family's life.”
Amanda was born shortly after the 1999 U.S. Open at Pinehurst, where Mickelson finished runner-up to Payne Stewart. He had claimed he would leave Pinehurst at any moment to be there for the birth, displaying a family-first attitude he continues today.
The 46-year-old is running out of chances to complete the career grand slam, making the decision more difficult. He has three Masters wins plus one Open Championship and a PGA Championship on his resume. But no U.S. Open.
“Obviously, it's a tournament that I want to win the most, and the only way to win is if you play,” he said. “But this is one of those moments where you look back on life and you just don't want to miss it. I'll be really glad that I was there and present.”
Mickelson, who has played in 26 U.S. Opens, was also runner up at the 2002, 2004, 2006, 2009 and 2013 events. He and wife Amy are the parents of Amanda (17), Sophia (15) and Evan (14), and Phil again left no doubt as to his priorities Saturday. He said Amanda would have supported his decision had he chosen to play the U.S. Open.
“I'll be able to play the next two years solidly before Sofia gets to graduate, hopefully,” he joked.
“Amanda’s very supportive. She's always been: ‘Dad, I know you love the Open.’ But it's one of those things that you just show up. You just need to be there. It wasn't really something that we discussed, because it really wasn't much of a decision.”