DUBLIN, Ohio — Phil Mickelson says he will miss the U.S. Open for the first time in 24 years to attend his oldest daughter’s high school graduation in California.
Mickelson hasn’t officially withdrawn from the U.S. Open, which starts June 15 at Erin Hills in Wisconsin. But that’s the same day as Amanda Mickelson’s graduation from Pacific Ridge School, and he doesn’t see any way he’ll make a tee time.
The U.S. Open is the only major Mickelson has not won. He has not missed it since his first full year as a pro in 1993.
This is the same daughter who nearly caused Mickelson to miss the 1999 U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2, where he carried a beeper with him and pledged to leave in the middle of the tournament even if he were leading. Mickelson lost on a 15-foot par putt at the last hole to Payne Stewart. Amanda was born the next day.
And now she’s graduating high school.
“It’s a tournament that I want to win the most,” Mickelson said after his third round at the Memorial. “The only way to win is if you play and have a chance. 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.”
He said Amanda is the school president and the valedictorian. She is going to Brown in the fall. The New York Times first reported that Mickelson did not plan on playing.
The commencement is 10 a.m. PDT, and Mickelson has known for months there could be a conflict. And there appears to be no way out. One reason not to withdraw immediately is the slim chance of a weather delay for the opening round, though that’s a long shot. (The Associated Press)
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