Six-time runner-up Mickelson receives US Open nod

All year he has insisted on playing his own way into the US Open but the results didn’t come and common sense has prevailed in the end.

The USGA has now announced that one of its most popular players, 50-year-old Phil Mickelson, has been given a much-deserved special exemption into the US Open Championship next month.

Phil Mickelson Phil Mickelson stands in the rain during the final round at the 2013 US Open and the site of another heart-breaking near miss (Credit: USGA/Darren Carroll)

Mickelson, a six-time US Open runner-up, will line up in the tournament for the 30th time. The occasion will be made all the more special with the major being staged at Torrey Pines in San Diego, California – Mickelson’s hometown.

“Winning the U.S. Open has been a lifelong and elusive dream, and I’ve come close so many times,” said Mickelson, who sits at 115th in the world rankings.

“You can’t win if you don’t play. I’m honoured and appreciative of the USGA for the opportunity and look forward to playing in my hometown on a golf course I grew up on.”

A five-time major champion, Mickelson is looking to become just the sixth player in history to win all four majors including Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Ben Hogan and Gene Sarazen. Mickelson was finally able to get over the line at the British Open in 2013 at the age of 43 to add to his three Masters titles (2004, 2006 and 2010) and the 2005 PGA Championship.

The South Course at Torrey Pines was the site of Tiger Woods’ incredible 19-hole Monday playoff win over Rocco Mediate at the 2008 US Open.

“Phil Mickelson’s incredible USGA playing record and overall career achievements are among the most noteworthy in the game’s history,” said USGA CEO Mike Davis. “We are thrilled to welcome him to this year’s U.S. Open at Torrey Pines.”