As he gears as much as try to qualify for his hometown U.S. Open, Phil Mickelson stays undecided on if he’ll accept a special invitation from the USGA ought to he want one.
“I don’t know; I just don’t know the answer to that right now,” Mickelson told ESPN.com’s Bob Harig on Thursday at the Valspar Championship.
Mickelson, who’s at the moment ranked No. 113 within the Official World Golf Ranking, has a few different paths into the June 17-20 championship at Torrey Pines in San Diego. He can qualify both by way of the highest 60 of the world rankings by May 24 or June 7, or he can get in by way of sectional qualifying. Mickelson will play Wells Fargo, the PGA Championship and Memorial earlier than the ultimate cutoff, and he’s additionally entered into sectionals in Ohio the day after Memorial.
The 50-year-old has competed in 31 U.S. Opens and has missed just one since 1994 (the 2017 version with the intention to attend his daughter’s high-school commencement). He’s completed runner-up a report six occasions, too, together with most just lately in 2013 at Merion.
Mickelson was in peril of not qualifying final yr at Winged Foot, however the USGA adjusted its qualification due to the pandemic and Mickelson earned his method into the rescheduled September championship in spite of everything.
However, two Februarys in the past, Mickelson stated he wouldn’t accept a special invite from the USGA, which has traditionally given out special exemptions to the sport’s high gamers, together with Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer. Ernie Els was the latest participant to get such invite, in 2019.
“I won’t accept it,” Mickelson stated. “So, I am either going to get in the field on my own or I’ll have to try to qualify. I’m not going to take a special exemption. They have never been an organization that likes to give out exemptions, special exemptions. I don’t want a special exemption. I think I’ll get in the tournament. If I get in, I deserve to be there. If I don’t, I don’t. I don’t want a sympathy spot. If I’m good enough to make it and qualify, then I need to earn my spot there.”
Mickelson, probably being imprecise as a result of the USGA has but to formally lengthen any sort of invites, added that his resolution gained’t be influenced by this yr’s U.S. Open being a house recreation.
“The venue doesn’t make a difference,” he stated. “I just don’t know the answer yet.”