Golf legend Phil Mickelson plans to attend his daughter’s graduation and miss next week’s playing of the 117th U.S. Open at Erin Hills.
The left-handed Mickelson, known best for his aggressive “go-for-it” playing style and his creativity around the greens, needs a victory at Americas’s most prestigious tournament to complete the Majors “grand-slam.” He already owns victories in the Masters, the PGA Open, and the British Open Championships.
A 42-time winner on the PGA Tour, Mickelson came in second six times at the U.S. Open, but victory eluded him every time he came close. At age 46, each passing year makes it more unlikely that he will join the elite club of Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, and Tiger Woods as golf’s Grand Slam winners.
Amanda Mickelson will graduate from Pacific Ridge School in Carlsbad, California, reports Sporting News and the proud father considers that event a priority over his playing golf, even if it is the U.S. Open.
“So my daughter is graduating and she’s the school president, she’ll be giving the commencement speech for the school, and I’m gonna be there,” said Mickelson following Saturday’s round of the Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio. “Unfortunately it comes on the Thursday of the Open, around 10 in the morning Pacific, so there’s really no way to make it no matter what the tee-time is.”
Mickelson has not officially withdrawn from the tournament, choosing instead to notify the PGA of his plans so that they and the alternate golfer taking his spot won’t be caught off guard at the last moment when he withdraws.
USGA Executive Director “Mike [Davis] and I both agree there’s no sense in [officially withdrawing] right now. You never know what might happen,” he said. “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 they [the USGA] had enough notice to accommodate it, so that’s why I’m saying something today. It doesn’t look good for me playing, but I’m really excited by this moment in my family’s life.”