The five-time Major champion said that, if he didn't qualify for this year's US Open, he wouldn't be sure if he would accept a special exemption from the USGA into the championship.
Phil Mickelson Unsure Of Special Exemption Into US Open
The US Open remains the only Major that Mickelson is yet to win, but the American recently told ESPN that, if he failed to qualify for this years event, he would not be sure if he would accept a special exemption from the USGA into the championship.
Speaking to ESPN, Mickelson said: “I don’t know. I just don’t know the answer to that right now, I’m scheduled to go through qualifying the day after the Memorial.”
For Mickelson to qualify for the tournament, which is being held at Torrey Pines in his hometown of San Diego, he would need to be inside the top 60 in the world on either the 27th May or 7th June; though he can also still qualify through sectional qualifying or an exemption.
The USGA, which conducts the US Open, does not often hand out special exemptions, and typically does so only for past champions of the event. The most recent player to receive one was two-time US Open champion Ernie Els in 2019.
With Mickelson unsure whether he would accept the exemption from the USGA, former Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjørn tweeted: “Well.. On behalf of everyone in golf. Please do. You deserve to be there more than most and I belong to the huge amount of golf fans that would love to see you have another go.. @PhilMickelson”
This isn’t the first time that the 50-year-old has been in this scenario. In February 2020, the five-time Major champion suggested that he would not accept a special invite into that year’s US Open at Winged Foot.
However, due to the Covid pandemic, Mickelson ended up qualifying under the modified exemptions the USGA made, with the championship moving to September. He would end up missing the cut that week.