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

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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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40 Comments

40 Comments

  1. Mad-Mex

    Jun 8, 2017 at 9:01 pm

    I bet those who disagree and are bagging on Phil are the same drunk morons who yell “Mash Potato” “Ba-baboey” after a player hit his drive.

  2. Sam

    Jun 6, 2017 at 7:13 pm

    Phil should donate some money and have them move the graduation to Saturday so he can do both

    • Jalan

      Jun 10, 2017 at 3:23 pm

      Yeah, right. Make every other parent and child change their plans, so the celebrity golfer can have his cake and eat it too.

  3. Dave R

    Jun 6, 2017 at 9:22 am

    Family first . You only have one of them. Could not agree more. Good on him.

  4. Taylor

    Jun 5, 2017 at 8:57 pm

    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…

    • Juice

      Jun 6, 2017 at 3:57 pm

      So because it was a joke for you his daughter should consider it a joke? You must’ve been the joke. SMH. Good for you Phil!

  5. leo vincent

    Jun 5, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    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

  6. Bishop

    Jun 5, 2017 at 12:30 pm

    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.

  7. Tom54

    Jun 5, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    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

  8. Brian

    Jun 5, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    I understand him missing the Open given that his daughter is speaking. If she were just walking…I mean…you’re expected to graduate HS.

  9. DaveT

    Jun 5, 2017 at 11:30 am

    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.

  10. Jeff

    Jun 5, 2017 at 9:23 am

    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.

    • Jalan

      Jun 10, 2017 at 3:26 pm

      How does every other family “Win”? What if they have plans they can’t change for some wealthy privileged golfer?

  11. Ronald Montesano

    Jun 5, 2017 at 9:02 am

    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.

  12. High Cut

    Jun 5, 2017 at 1:20 am

    Is there a tonne of dogleg-rights?

  13. setter02

    Jun 4, 2017 at 7:35 pm

    Lol, the haters are strong with this one! And, pathetic…

  14. Mad-Mex

    Jun 4, 2017 at 6:28 pm

    I think those who are against his decision are not or have not been fathers.

    • Jalan

      Jun 10, 2017 at 3:27 pm

      I’m not convinced they’re even adults.

  15. Tyler

    Jun 4, 2017 at 5:20 pm

    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.

    • Rwj

      Jun 4, 2017 at 6:26 pm

      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

      • Mad-Mex

        Jun 4, 2017 at 6:40 pm

        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.

  16. Jasian Day

    Jun 4, 2017 at 4:18 pm

    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

    • K Unt

      Jun 5, 2017 at 2:35 am

      Why you so jealous?

    • BB

      Jun 5, 2017 at 5:48 am

      What a sad, pathetic post.

    • Big Richard Cox

      Jun 5, 2017 at 7:18 am

      I liked the post! Hit the nail on the head.

    • birdie

      Jun 5, 2017 at 9:25 am

      his daughter is giving the speech. She is the class president and the valedictorian. so many people with their opinions yet completely ignorant of the facts surrounding the situation.

  17. ooffa

    Jun 4, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    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!

    • birdie

      Jun 5, 2017 at 9:26 am

      yeah…class president and the valedictorian. giving a speech. i’d want to watch my kid graduate

      • ooffa

        Jun 5, 2017 at 10:12 am

        Sounds like she’s a real smart kid. She more than anyone should therefore understand why her Dad should play in the US Open.

  18. SH

    Jun 4, 2017 at 10:28 am

    He da best

  19. Progolfer

    Jun 4, 2017 at 10:18 am

    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.

  20. stephen Harasti

    Jun 4, 2017 at 10:01 am

    The course must not setup well for him

  21. Golferguy

    Jun 4, 2017 at 9:42 am

    He’s a good Dad.

    • Jasian Day

      Jun 4, 2017 at 1:46 pm

      Not to that one kid in Ohio or wherever

  22. Jasian Day

    Jun 4, 2017 at 9:24 am

    It ain’t like he was gonna win or anything

  23. Mad-Mex

    Jun 4, 2017 at 5:10 am

    This should be getting more news coverage than Tiger Woods

    Wonder who is the low life who shanked this?

    Wonder if he will have the backbone to admit it?

  24. Family Guy

    Jun 4, 2017 at 5:07 am

    Incredibly unselfish act!

  25. E

    Jun 4, 2017 at 1:54 am

    Awwwwww…. isn’t that special.

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Q2Q: Johnny gets a hand from Claude Harmon III

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In this episode of the Q2Q brought to you bu GolfWRX and Cobra Golf, Johnny and performance coach Nick Starchuk travel to West Palm Beach to see Claude Harmon III at his performance center. It’s a Golf IQ reality smackdown with CHIII breaking down the truth that the Arccos system has shown Johnny.
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Morning 9: Lowry leads | MJ on TW | The Tour’s secret cut-making machines

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By Ben Alberstadt (ben.alberstadt@golfwrx.com)

April 19, 2019

Good Friday morning on this Good Friday, golf fans.
1. Lowry leads
AP report…”The Irishman admittedly had started the year off on a strong note with a win in Abu Dhabi in the season-opener on the European Tour. But he simply hadn’t been able to build on that momentum – on either side of the Atlantic — in the weeks following his third career win”.
  • “In fact, Lowry hadn’t broken 70 in four stroke-play events on the PGA TOUR since he missed the cut at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am back in February. He was a combined 24 over par in those tournaments and had only made the weekend once.”
  • “On a blustery morning at Harbour Town Golf Links, though, Lowry was back in control — firing a bogey-free 65 that earned him a one-stroke advantage.”
  • “Pretty much my whole game felt good,” Lowry said. “… I haven’t had that feeling in a while. So, it’s kind of nice.”
2. Augusta’d!
The Golf Channel Digital Team…”Beginning on the 10th hole Thursday, Spieth played his opening nine holes in 2 over par, with one double – after hitting his tee shot short, into the water at No. 14 – and eight pars. He recovered on the front side with three birdies compared to one bogey.”
  • “For the day, he hit 15 of 18 greens in regulation but needed 33 putts.”
  • “”I really got Augusta’d out here. What I mean is, I was still putting to the speed of Augusta. I haven’t fully made the transition away from that,” Spieth said after his even-par 71. “And as we are expecting high winds I’m sure the greens will slow down even more to make it fair. I’m really going to need to dial in my speed on the greens. Just tough out there coming off last week to this week, to get yourself to pop it harder than you really want to.””
3. Berger resurgent
Golfweek’s Roxanna Scott…
  • “After taking significant time off late in the year, Daniel Berger has to like what he sees in his game after an opening-round 5-under-par 66 in the RBC Heritage.”
  • “A finger injury forced Berger to take more than four months off after withdrawing from the BMW Championship in September. The 26-year-old Floridian was among a group of five tied for second Thursday, one shot behind leader Shane Lowry. Dustin Johnson, No. 1 in the world rankings, shot 3-under 68 in the afternoon.”
  • “”It’s just been kind of touch and go here,” Berger told reporters after the round at Harbour Town Golf Links. “And finally got a full week of practice where I actually got to play golf every day. That’s just the biggest difference. When you’re going to a golf tournament and you’ve played one round of golf in two weeks, you don’t feel very good. To be able to put the work in and be rewarded it makes me feel like I’m ready to go when I get out here.”
4. Meanwhile, in Hawaii…
AP Report…”Eun-Hee Ji rebounded from a bogey on the par-4 18th with a pitch-in eagle on the par-5 first and shot a 7-under 65 to take a two-stroke lead over Nelly Korda on Thursday in the Lotte Championship.”
“Ji had a 15-under 129 total to break the tournament 36-hole record by five strokes.”
5. MJ on TW
Golf Channel’s Will Gray rounds up a few MJ quotes from The Athletic and expands…
  • “I took two years off to play baseball, but nothing like that,” Jordan told The Athletic. “I’m pretty sure he questioned himself, whether he could get it back, and he had to put a lot of work in. But he took it head-on. He had to change his game; he had to change his perspective a little bit. To me, it was the greatest comeback I’ve ever seen.”
  • “I never thought he’d get back physically,” Jordan said. “He didn’t think he’d get back physically. But he did it. No one expected him to be back the way he is now. He’s probably the only person who believed he could get back. To me, that’s a major accomplishment. To me, it’s unbelievable. Mentally, you always think you can. But you can’t answer to what your body has to deal with.”
6. USWO entries
Golf Channel’s Randall Mell…”Rolex world No. 1 Jin Young Ko and defending champion Ariya Jutanugarn topped the list of players qualified for this year’s U.S. Women’s Open at Wednesday’s close of entries.”
  • “Forty-seven of the top 50 players in this week’s world rankings are qualified for the event, scheduled May 30-June 2 at the Country Club of Charleston (S.C.). (Click here for the full exempt field)”
  • “Sectional qualifying begins later this month.”
7. Secret cut-making wizards
Shane Ryan, in the course of Tiger’s Masters triumph, got to thinking about the tour’s cut-making maestros, reaching out to Mark Broadie for data…
“Broadie disappeared into his secret temple of statistics (I imagine it looks like the House of the Undying in Game of Thrones), and came out bearing a bounty of figures. For the last two seasons, beginning in the fall of 2017, Thomas and Johnson were indeed the leaders, with Thomas in front by percentage points. But there were a couple surprises in the top ten”
Justin Thomas – 19/20 – 5.0% missed cut rate
Dustin Johnson – 17/18 – 5.6%
Tommy Fleetwood – 16/17 – 5.9%
Bryson DeChambeau – 24/26 – 7.7%
Hideki Matsuyama – 18/20 – 10.0%
Tiger Woods – 17/19 – 10.5%
Emiliano Grillo – 25/28 – 10.7%
T-8. Justin Rose 16/18 – 11.1%
T-8. Rafa Cabrera-Bello 16/18 – 11.1%
Rickie Fowler – 21/24 – 12.5%
“Grillo is the one of that group you might not expect, and there’s a couple more in the next 10, from An to Keegan Bradley to Charles Howell III. The inspiration for this post, Tony Finau, clocked in at 12th.”
8. Talking to a D, C & P finalist
Our Brendon Elliott spoke to Briel Royce, a finalist in the Drive, Chip and Putt.
So how cool was it driving Down Magnolia Lane?
  • Briel: “Driving down Magnolia Lane was awesome.  Usually, you do not get to experience the scenic ride unless you are a tour player or a member. Everyone got extremely quiet upon entry. There were tons of security along our slow ride. Seeing the beautiful trees and the Masters Flag at Founder’s Circle in the distance was surreal. Having earned the right and opportunity to drive down this prestigious lane was breathtaking. I would love to do it again someday.”
  • What was the coolest part of your time at Drive, Chip and Putt at Augusta National?
  • Briel: “Everything was cool about the DCP. Not too often do you see people taking walks in the morning with green jackets on. We were not treated like kids. We were treated like tour players, like we were members at Augusta. The icing on the cake was when they took us to the practice green and we were putting alongside Zach Johnson and Charl Schwartzel. Everyone was confused when we first got there because we weren’t certain we should be putting on the same green around the pros. Again, we were treated like we were tour players. Where else would I be able to do this? Nowhere other than DCP at Augusta. One of my favorite reflections is having Bubba Watson watch us chip and congratulating each of us for our efforts. He did not need to do that. He took time out of practicing for a very important week in his career to support the DCP players. I think his actions show what the game of golf is about: the sportsmanship, the camaraderie, and support.”
9. Trophy gallery
Here’s something interesting and easily digestible: a look at all the trophies handed out on the PGA Tour this season. Some are…interesting…
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Michael Jordan describes Tiger Woods’ comeback as the greatest he’s ever seen

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Former NBA star Michael Jordan is no stranger to legendary comebacks, but according to the six-time NBA champion, there has been no greater comeback in the history of sport than that of Tiger Woods.

Jordan, who was speaking to The Athletic, talked about the monumental journey which Woods, who Jordan is a close friend of, traveled to reach this point, of which perseverance and self-belief played a significant role.

“I took two years off to play baseball, but nothing like that. I’m pretty sure he questioned himself, whether he could get it back, and he had to put a lot of work in. But he took it head-on. He had to change his game; he had to change his perspective a little bit. To me, it was the greatest comeback I’ve ever seen.”

Three years ago, Jordan told ESPN that he thought Woods’ best days were behind him,  with the golfer’s ailing back contributing to much of that belief. Mentally, Jordan never doubted the 81-time PGA Tour winner, but the basketball legend admitted his surprise at his friend overcoming his chronic back issues.

“I never thought he’d get back physically. He didn’t think he’d get back physically. But he did it. No one expected him to be back the way he is now. He’s probably the only person who believed he could get back. To me, that’s a major accomplishment. To me, it’s unbelievable. Mentally, you always think you can. But you can’t answer to what your body has to deal with.”

As for what’s next for Woods, Jordan believes the sky is the limit, firing this warning to the 43-year-old’s rivals.

“They got problems. His confidence is only going to build from here. The unknown is the biggest thing. He’s won a Tour event, he’s won the Masters, he’s won a major.”

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