Phil Mickelson Unsure of 2021 U.S. Open Participation at Torrey Pines

Published 05/01/2021, 8:50 AM EDT
Golf – The Masters – Augusta National Golf Club – Augusta, Georgia, U.S. – April 11, 2021 Phil Mickelson of the U.S. reacts after missing a birdie putt on the 2nd hole during the final round REUTERS/Mike Segar


The U.S. Open remains the only major Phil Mickelson hasn’t won in his career. The 50-year-old is currently active on the PGA Tour but is unsure about competing in the 2021 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course. While Mickelson is yet to qualify, he is still on the fence about playing even if he receives a special exemption from the USGA.

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The USGA is very meticulous when it comes to offering special exemptions. Over the years, the priority has always been given to past champions and the last non-U.S. Open winner to have received an exemption was Nick Price in 2005. 

Phil Mickelson has not made up his mind about the 2021 U.S. Open

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The U.S. Open is returning to San Diego as the famous Torrey Pines Golf Course is once again set to host the tournament. Bryson DeChambeau will be the defending champion at the 121st United States Open Championship, and Phil Mickelson has a lot of work to do in order to gain a qualification. 

Mickelson is currently ranked 113th in the Official World Golf Ranking. For him to qualify to play at Torrey Pines, the five-time major championship should make a surge to the Top 60 before the end of May or the first week of June. 

Apr 1, 2021; San Antonio, Texas, USA; Phil Mickelson watches his shot from the 12th tee during the first round of the Valero Texas Open golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

It is no easy task. While Mickelson has been in a decent run of form, it is a massive ask even by his standards to gain nearly 60 spots on the ranking. However, he can still qualify through a special exemption which the USGA is more likely to offer.

“I don’t know; I just don’t know the answer to that right now,” Mickelson told ESPN about accepting the special exemption to the U.S. Open. “I’m scheduled to go through qualifying the day after the Memorial [Tournament in Ohio].”

Torrey Pines is a familiar venue for Phil Mickelson, but he will not factor it in while making the decision. “The venue doesn’t make a difference. I just don’t know the answer yet,” Mickelson said. 

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Mickelson has six runner-up finishes at the U.S. Open

The U.S. Open is the only major yet to be lifted by Phil Mickelson. The “lefty” has accomplished a lot in his career, but this particular tournament has eluded him so far. But that doesn’t mean that Phil Mickelson has not found any success at the U.S. Open. 

Mickelson has six-runner-up finishes at the U.S. Open, the most of any player in history. He came really close to lifting the title in 1999, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2009, and 2013. He has other Top-10 finishes as well. 

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It is unknown as to why Phil Mickelson is unsure about participating at the 2021 U.S. Open. He was in a similar position last year but received an invite due to the modified qualification process owing to the pandemic. 

It all depends on the USGA to offer Phil Mickelson an exemption to be a part of the field this year. Only then will he decide if he wants to play or skip the tournament! 

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Arjun Athreya

1823 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.

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