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June 3, 2017

Phil Mickelson

Dublin, Ohio

Q. Great round today.

Q. What did you think of that 12th hole?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, it was nice.

So my daughter is graduating and she's the school president. She'll be giving the commencement speech for the school, and I'm going to be there. Unfortunately, it comes on the Thursday of the Open, around 10:00 in the morning Pacific. So there's just really no way to make it, no matter what the tee time is.

So I didn't want Mike Davis and the USGA to be caught off guard when they made their pairings for television on Wednesday, and I want the alternate to know that he most likely will be in and prepare properly. But Mike and I both agree there's no sense in doing it right now, you never know what might happen, maybe something comes up with the commencement, maybe something comes up with the weather. I don't know what will happen, but it doesn't look very good. It would have to be something unforeseen.

But I wanted to make sure that they had enough notice to accommodate it. So that's why I'm saying something today. But it doesn't look good for me playing. But I'm really excited about this moment in our family's life.

Q. How difficult is it?
PHIL MICKELSON: I mean obviously it's a tournament that I want to win the most, and it's a tournament -- the only way to win is if you play and have a chance. But this is one of those moments where you look back on life and you just don't want to miss it. I'll be really glad that I was there and present.

Q. Is there any concern because the window obviously is not as wide as it used to be for you, you're giving up one more crack?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, maybe. But I'll be able to play the next two years solidly before Sofia gets to graduate, hopefully (laughter). Hopefully that one won't conflict. Again, you never know, maybe something freaky will happen, but you just never know.

Q. Just to be clear, you haven't withdrawn, you won't do it until you can't be there?
PHIL MICKELSON: Correct. There's no sense withdrawing today, I'll withdraw as close to the event as possible. But I wanted the potential player, the alternate to know and also the USGA to know because they make their pairings on Wednesday. I didn't want them to be put in a spot where they're making TV pairings and what have you and have a substitute.

Q. (Inaudible.)
PHIL MICKELSON: We let him know a couple of days ago, and then I talked to him personally to let him know we'd probably discuss it today so he wasn't caught off guard.

Q. When did you first see the date?
PHIL MICKELSON: Months ago. Well, actually, like six months ago, back of your head you're like, maybe something will change, maybe something will change, but nothing is really changing. So here we are.

Q. What did she say, if anything, when you told her I'm going to be there?
PHIL MICKELSON: You know, we -- she's very supportive. She's always been, Dad, I know you love the Open. She's always been very supportive. But it's one of those things that you just show up. You just need to be there. It wasn't really something that we discussed, because it really wasn't much of a decision.

Q. Was there any part of her that felt the vibe that --
PHIL MICKELSON: No, we didn't get to that point because I never really contemplated not being there for her.

Q. You said you're likely not going to play. What other possibilities are there?
PHIL MICKELSON: Possibilities, something happens with the commencement, I don't know, or time-wise, something changes. That's unlikely. Possible weather delay, first round into the second. That would be probably the only two big scenarios, but those are unlikely.

Q. You felt a certain symmetry to your daughter who was almost born at Pinehurst. Here we are all those years later. It's part of your life.
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, I go back and every year at the U.S. Open, I think back about that '99 Open. The birth of your child, any child, but especially your first child is the most emotional event you can ever experience and share together with your wife. And I always think about that at the U.S. Open, I think about Payne Stewart and I can't believe how quickly time has gone by. Here she is turning 18 and moving off to college and I'm so proud of her. And she's a special person. I'm excited to see what she has to say at her commencement.

Q. Are you going to help with the commencement speech?
PHIL MICKELSON: Probably not, no. Actually definitely not (laughter).

She's a better writer, more eloquent speaker than I ever dreamed to be.

Q. When did you --
PHIL MICKELSON: You can withdraw minutes before, but we'll know probably within a day or two of the event if there's any possibility of something happening. But, again, I'll be listed in the pairing that looks unusual, I would guess, because I'm likely not going to be there, with some qualifiers. And again, barring something unforeseen, I won't be there. But I wish them all the best in the event.

Q. Just in case could you ask for a late time on Thursday?
PHIL MICKELSON: I usually am late on Thursday in the Open. That's not abnormal for me to be late on Thursday. So it likely could happen or would happen, anyways. And there's always that chance. If there was even a two or three-hour delay, I could very well make it, very possibly make it. I'm always holding out hope. Again, as you look back on life, there are certain things you need to be there for.

Q. Priorities?
PHIL MICKELSON: Right. It's a big reason why I added Colonial. It's a reason why I haven't gone and prepared, I haven't foreseen there being a chance for me to play.

Q. Was there any talk at the school at all about shifting times?
PHIL MICKELSON: No, there's not. I wouldn't put them in that situation.

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