The career Grand Slam will have to wait for Phil Mickelson.
The star golfer announced Saturday he will miss the 2017 U.S. Open at Erin Hills in order to attend his daughter’s high school graduation, according to ESPN’s Bob Harig.
The 46-year-old said he hasn’t officially withdrawn from the tournament, but since his daughter, Amanda, will be giving the commencement speech during the first round of the tournament, it doesn’t look like he’ll be able to chase the elusive title.
“I wanted to make sure they (the United States Golf Association) had enough notice to accommodate it,” Mickelson said, per Harig. “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.”
Mickelson has won five major championships but never has won the U.S. Open, finishing in second place a record six times.
His first runner-up finish came at the 1999 U.S. Open, when Payne Stewart edged him out by one stroke on the day Amanda was born.
“Yeah, I go back and, every year at the U.S. Open, I think back about that ’99 Open,” Mickelson said. “The birth of your child, any child, but especially your first child is the most emotional event you can ever experience and share together with your wife.
“And I always think about that at the U.S. Open, I think about Payne Stewart (who died later that year in a plane crash), and I can’t believe how quickly time has gone by. Here she is turning 18 and moving off to college, and I’m so proud of her. And she’s a special person. I’m excited to see what she has to say at her commencement.”
Mickelson noted this was an easy decision to make.
“(My daughter is) very supportive,” he said. “She’s always been, ‘Dad, I know you love the Open.’ She’s always been very supportive. But it’s one of those things 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.”
The 2017 U.S. Open begins June 15.
Thumbnail photo via Erich Schlegel/USA TODAY Sports Images
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