Phil Mickelson’s quest for the career grand slam may have to wait until next year. On Saturday after Lefty’s third round at the Memorial, he told the media that he plans on withdrawing his name from the 117th U.S. Open at Erin Hills to attend his daughter Amanda’s high school graduation.
Mickelson first informed The New York Times of his decision before teeing off in the third round of the Memorial on Saturday. After closing out an even-par 72, he confirmed that decision.
The five-time major winner has finished runner-up at the year’s second major a record six times. The U.S. Open is the lone major keeping the soon-to-be 47-year-old from the career Grand Slam.
“I mean obviously it’s the tournament I want to win the most,” 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.”
Amanda, who will attend Brown University in the fall, is the class president and commencement speaker. She is the oldest of the three Mickelson children. The Pacific Ridge School graduation is scheduled for 10 a.m. PT on Thursday, June 15, square in the middle of the Open’s first round.
“So there’s really just no way to make it, no matter what the tee time is,” Mickelson said.
— Karen Crouse (@bykaren) June 3, 2017
It is important to note that Mickelson has not officially withdrawn. He has up until his tee time to actually do so. As such, he intends to wait in order to allow himself the opportunity to play should some “unforeseen circumstance,” like a first-round weather washout, allow him to make it from California to Wisconsin in time.
Mickelson chose to inform USGA executive director Mike Davis of his situation “a couple days ago” so that an alternate can properly prepare for the event and the USGA can plan its first- and second-round groupings accordingly.
“We applaud and appreciate the fact that he is being pro-active so that the USGA can make any appropriate adjustments should he not be able to play,” Davis said in a statement. “We certainly understand and support that Phil’s family commitments are of paramount importance and hope that the timing will work in his favor.”
Erin Hills will be the first U.S. Open without Phil Mickelson since 1993… which was held the month before Jordan Spieth was born.
— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGC) June 3, 2017
Mickelson first became aware of the potential conflict six months ago and hoped that “maybe something will change, maybe something will change, but nothing is really changing. So here we are.” At no point, Mickelson said, did he contemplate missing the ceremony or asking the school to reschedule.
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