Mickelson pulls out of US Open for graduation

If there’s one thing that changes with age its priorities. Just ask Phil Mickelson.

Barely a week out from this year’s US Open – an event he’s been runner-up in on a record six occasions, and if he ever won, would springboard him permanently into golfing immortality – Mickelson has decided to pull-out.

Phil Mickelson Mickelson fired two double bogeys and three bogeys during the final round of the 2013 US Open on his way to losing to Justin Rose (Credit: USGA/Darren Carroll)

Deciding instead to attend an event that won’t be happening next year, or any other year for that matter. His daughter’s graduation.

“It wasn’t really something that we discussed, because it really wasn’t much of a decision,” said Mickelson. “I never really contemplated not being there for her.”

Amanda Mickelson is due to graduate from high school on June 15, the same day as the first day of competition at Erin Hills in the US Open.

Later this year, she will enrol in Brown University in Rhode Island.

Mickelson is set to turn 47 the day after she graduates, which means he’ll be well and truly into his late 40s before the next opportunity to tick the last remaining major off his resume rolls around.

He’s one of only two golfers currently competing to be one major shy from achieving golf’s grand slam, however the other (Rory McIlroy) is 18 years his junior.

Only five players in history can boast all four Majors with the list consisting of Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Tiger Woods.

Although he hasn’t officially withdrawn, having asked the USGA to list him in a grouping just in case something unforeseen happens, it’s clear where the 47 year old’s priority’s lie.

“Unless something extraordinarily happens such as a lengthy weather delay or the like I will be watching on TV,” he said.

“It‘s a tournament that I want to win the most, and it’s a tournament — 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.”