U.S. OpenJune 8, 2017

The USGA just gave Phil Mickelson a chance to still play in the U.S. Open (sort of)

Andrew Redington

Wonder why Phil Mickelson hasn’t withdrawn from the 117th U.S. Open?

It’s because Phil is still “holding out hope” he can attend daughter Amanda’s graduation speech and make it to Erin Hills on time for the opening round of the U.S. Open.

The first piece of the plan was given to Mickelson on Thursday when the USGA assigned the six-time U.S. Open runner-up a 2:20 p.m. tee time in the Central time zone, two hours ahead of California time, and the third from the last tee time of the first round.

The next piece will require some help from above. Mickelson has been watching the weather reports. Isolated thunderstorms are the forecast for Thursday.

Amanda’s graduation is scheduled for 10 a.m. West Coast time, noon in Wisconsin. Phil’s plan is to take off as close to noon as possible from a private airport in nearby Carlsbad.

If there are no rain delays at Erin Hills, his plane would conceivably do a U-turn and return to the San Diego area; the duration of the flight is in the three-hour, 45-minute range, depending on head and tail winds, making it impossible for Lefty to get to Wisconsin in time. However, if there was a delay, Mickelson could conceivably land at a private airport in Hartford, Wis., just 15 minutes by car from the Open venue.

RELATED: Priority No. 1 for Phil Mickelson

“I’m looking forward to seeing Amanda graduation and watching her make her speech,” Mickelson said. “But I can still make it. You never know. I think it’s possible.”

Should he make the trip but not make the tee time, Mickelson joked he would be watching the Open or maybe even making a TV cameo.

“Maybe I’ll fly up and be on Golf Channel,” he joked. “I can tell everybody how to finish second.”

RELATED: Complete tee times for the 117th U.S. Open


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