If you bet on Phil Mickelson not playing in this year's U.S. Open, congrats. The five-time major champ ended weeks of speculation Thursday morning by officially withdrawing from this year's national championship at Erin Hills.
Mickelson stayed home this week to attend the high school graduation of his daughter Amanda. But up until Thursday, he had held out hope for a weather delay that would have allowed him to make his 2:20 first-round tee time with Steve Sticker and Stewart Cink. Instead, alternate Roberto Diaz, will play in his place. This will be the first time since 1994 that Mickelson hasn't played in the U.S. Open, while Diaz, 30, will get his first start in the event.
Fortunately for the rest of the field, the weather cooperated and the event got off without any delays on Thursday morning. The sunny skies put an end to Lefty's streak of playing in the event 23 years in a row, and made the trip Mickelson's caddie, Jim "Bones" Mackay, made to Erin Hills all for naught.
Mickelson's pursuit of completing the career Grand Slam will have to wait until next year, when the U.S. Open returns to Shinnecock HIlls. Mickelson, who will turn 47 on Friday, finished T-2 to Retief Goosen the last time the tournament was held at the Long Island, N.Y., track in 2004. It's one of Mickelson's record six runner-ups in the event.