Phil Mickelson will miss U.S. Open to attend daughter’s graduation

Phil Mickelson (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

DUBLIN, Ohio — Phil Mickelson announced that he will skip the upcoming U.S. Open to attend his daughter’s college graduation.

A win would have made him just the sixth man in golf history to claim all four major tournament championships, but Mickelson will forego his chance this year. The 117th U.S. Open will be held in Erin Hills, Wisconsin, from June 12-18.

Mickelson said after the third round of the Memorial Tournament that he won’t be there. Instead, he’ll be at his daughter Amanda’s college commencement ceremony at Pacific Ridge School, which is set for June 15. Amanda Mickelson is her class president, a three-sport varsity athlete and a scheduled speaker at the event.

 

“Barring something unforeseen, I won’t be there,” Mickelson said. “As I look back on life, this is a moment I’ll always cherish and be glad I was present.”

 

Mickelson hasn’t missed the US Open since his first full year as a pro in 1993, but stressed “there’s just really no way to make it” barring a weather delay for the opening round or a late change to the ceremony time.

Mike Davis, USGA executive director, praised the player’s transparency, adding “appropriate adjustments” would be made.

“We certainly understand and support that Phil’s family commitments are of paramount importance,” said Davis. “We applaud and appreciate the fact that Phil is being proactive.”

Mickelson, a US Open runner up on six occasions, has made no secret of his desire to win the only major tournament to elude him.

But it’s not the first time familial and sporting commitments have collided.

With his wife Amy heavily pregnant back home in Arizona, Mickelson wore a pager during the 1999 US Open at Pinehurst, and was ready and waiting to walk off the course at any moment should she go into labor.

As it happened, Mickelson ended up contesting for the trophy, culminating in a final round duel with the late Payne Stewart.

Though Mickelson would go on to finish second, falling short by a single shot, Stewart famously consoled him, cupping Lefty’s face in his hands and saying “Good luck with the baby. There’s nothing like being a father.”

That baby, born just a day later, is now graduating college.