If you’re mulling over your U.S. Open punts, remove Phil Mickelson from your consideration. Lefty announced he doesn’t plan on teeing it up at Erin Hills. The reason? His daughter Amanda is graduating from high school—and she’s giving the commencement address.

The Pacific Ridge School’s commencement ceremony is scheduled for the morning of June 15, which is during the first round of the U.S. Open.

He’s yet to withdraw officially, but as Mickelson said, “barring something unforeseen, I won’t be there.” “Something unforeseen,” would be a situation like a washed out first round with the opening round of play beginning on Friday—a remote possibility indeed.

“I wanted to make sure they [the USGA] had enough notice to accommodate it…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 told reporters.

Mickelson hasn’t missed a major championship since the 2009 Open Championship when his wife was battling cancer. He’ll turn 47 during the tournament at Erin Hills, his long, unfortunate history of runner-up finishes at the U.S. Open is well documented.

Still, even with Father Time starting at Mickelson through the rearview, he seems comfortable with his decision to skip the championship.

Regarding the graduation, Mickelson said: 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.”

Like his history of near-misses at the USGA’s major, Mickelson’s series of scheduling conflicts during the tournament is part of “Lefty the family man” lore. He wore a beeper at Pinehurst in 1999, as his wife was on the verge of giving birth. At the 2012 U.S. Open, Mickelson flew home for Amanda’s eighth-grade graduation, catching a flight back just in time for the opening round.

And speaking of Amy, here’s what she told Karen Crouse about her husband’s decision. “Phil desperately wants to win the U.S. Open. “I would have totally understood if he needed to play…We could have done a video or this or that.”

A “video or this or that” isn’t something Phil Mickelson, the father, is comfortable with. Even the left-handers detractors have to respect that.

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  1. She’s obviously smart enough to realize it’s the US OPEN the only major your father hasn’t won in his life long journey in golf. Remember when you looked back at high school and realized what a joke it was…

  2. Not something I would have done considering he only has a few more competitive U.S Opens left but the decision is his and other people’s opinions are meaningless

  3. I completely agree with Phil’s decision, even though I’m not personally a father, yet. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for his daughter, and she has obviously worked incredibly diligently for her own accomplishments, even in high school. It seems to me that Phil is cognizant of this accomplishment, and I can’t describe how proud I’d be of being able to see my own child give a commencement speech. Maybe he feels that he could be a competitor in another year at the US Open, or maybe he doesn’t feel it’s important because he doesn’t think he can get the W. Or, maybe he doesn’t care, because family is more important to him than another year at the US Open….

    Kudos to him.

  4. Seems to me if the High School scheduled the ceremony on a Thursday and not on the weekend then they certainly can up it to Wednesday. I agree that Phil could make a donation in his daughters honor to the school things would work out fine. If they change the date for you Phil, then you best contend

  5. I’m not a Phil fan at all, but I have huge respect for this decision. I can’t understand the people who put it down. His daughter is class president and valedictorian! That’s big! It’s not something you get in a box of cereal. I wonder how many of the haters came close to a shot at valedictorian themselves.

  6. He should just make a sizable donation to the HS to have them move the whole graduation ceremony. Win-win, the HS gets some extra funds and Phil gets to play in the open.

  7. If Phil never wins a US Open, he’ll be in pretty solid company with 3-Major Champions. Tom Watson, Arnold Palmer, Nancy Lopez, Lee Trevino, Walter Hagen, Byron Nelson, to list six. Can’t fault the guy, can’t fault the school, bravo for the daughter, onward and upward. Lavaplatos.

  8. Guys come on. His daughter is speaking at her high school graduation. You’re telling me you’d miss that if you were him? That’s a bad life mistake. This should be common sense.

    • Then why didn’t he actually withdraw? Bc he hopes all the PR will cause the school to change? An actual good person wouldn’t have needed to tell everyone about it

      • Serious?!?! Are YOU out of high school? “Why didn’t he withdraw? Because he hopes the school will change the date with all this media attention. A good person would not have the need to tell everyone about it,,,, notice the difference? Just one of the many examples the sentence structure can be changed.

        Actually, a good person would respect another person’s decision.

  9. It’s kinda sad when you think about it….
    Phil and Amy have such spoiled bratty kids.
    The “diva” of the family has to have daddy watch her achieve what millions of other people do every single year.
    I pity the future husband. Whole new level of selfishness

  10. Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, did I read that right. High School? I could understand if it was graduation from the doctorate program at Harvard or M.I.T. But high school! Go play tournament. Do your job!

  11. Nice gesture by Phil, but an even nicer gesture would be if his daughter forced her father to chase his dream– something I’m sure Phil encourages her and her siblings to do– of winning the US Open. Imagine the spark that would give Phil. He unexpectedly won the Masters when his wife was batting breast cancer. His daughter has a tremendous opportunity to give her father the greatest gift she ever could. If only she did and he went on to win the Grand Slam because of it!! That would complete his career in style.

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