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Phil Mickelson has accepted a special exemption from the USGA to play in next month’s US Open.

The five-time major champion was unlikely to gain exemption via traditional methods for the tournament, which takes place at Torrey Pines in his hometown of San Diego from June 17-20.

Now, though, he doesn’t have to worry about securing his place after receiving an invite for the third men’s major of the year.

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Mickelson, 50, has finished runner-up in the championship a record six times. Victory in the event is all that stands between him and the career grand slam.

“Winning the US Open has been a lifelong and elusive dream, and I’ve come close so many times,” said the left-hander, who has made 29 US Open appearances. “You can’t win if you don’t play. I’m honoured and appreciative of the USGA for the opportunity and look forward to playing in my hometown on a golf course I grew up on.”

Mickelson was pipped by Payne Stewart at Pinehurst in the 1999 US Open, before also coming up one spot short in 2002 to Tiger Woods (Bethpage Black), Retief Goosen (Shinnecock Hills, 2004), Geoff Ogilvy (Winged Foot, 2006), Lucas Glover (Bethpage Black, 2009) and Justin Rose (Merion, 2013).

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“Phil Mickelson’s incredible USGA playing record and overall career achievements are among the most noteworthy in the game’s history,” added outgoing USGA CEO Mike Davis. “We are thrilled to welcome him to this year’s US Open at Torrey Pines.”

Mickelson, ranked 116th in the world, had previously stated he would refuse an invitation to take part if offered one and was, instead, prepared to attempt to go through 36-hole qualifying to try to earn his spot there.

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Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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