Phil Mickelson announced a week and a half ago that he’d be skipping this weekend’s U.S. Open in order to attend the high school graduation of his daughter Amanda, which is scheduled for the first day of the tournament. But he’s since backtracked to say that planning to skip the event doesn’t necessarily mean withdrawing from it—leaving the door open for an appearance, in case some “unforeseen” circumstances arise.
Considering that the school has already released a statement saying that it will not reschedule their graduation ceremony in California for the U.S. Open in Wisconsin, the only form those unforeseen circumstances could take would seem to be bad weather at Erin Hills. (Or, uh, Amanda somehow failing to graduate, which is pretty unlikely given that she’s the commencement speaker and will be attending Brown in the fall.) The ceremony is scheduled for 10 a.m. local time, or noon central time: “So there’s just really no way to make it, no matter what the tee time is,” Mickelson told the New York Times.
But Mickelson still isn’t withdrawing—just in case. Even assuming the use of a private jet and a lightning-fast graduation ceremony and completely smooth sailing in every other capacity, he’d need at least four hours of weather delays in order to make it to Erin Hills in time for his 2:20 p.m. CT tee time.
That leaves the first alternate for the tournament, Roberto Diaz, in limbo. But he seems zen about the whole thing: “I’m not expecting him to withdraw,” Diaz told USA Today during a practice round on Tuesday. “I’m just going to prepare to be the first one in here waiting for whoever decides to drop out if there’s somebody injured or somebody’s sick or something.… So I’m going to be here at 6:45 in the morning, ready to go.”