The USGA has given Phil Mickelson until the ‘last minute’ to withdraw from the US Open.
The five-time major winner, who is due to attend his daughter’s high school graduation in San Diego this morning, is still on the entry list for the tournament and is scheduled to tee it up alongside Stewart Cink and Steve Stricker at 2.20pm [8.20pm UK time].
At one point earlier this week, the weather forecast for today hinted that Mickelson may have had a chance of making the three-and-a-half hour flight to Erin Hills to tee it up with rain and thunderstorms in-store.
However, that doesn’t look like materialising now despite his caddie, Jim ‘Bones’ Mackay (below), scouting the course, although the USGA have insisted they will give him every chance of making it at the expense of alternate Roberto Diaz, who has never played in a US Open before.
“On behalf of the USGA, we applaud that decision – families should always come first,” said USGA executive director Mike Davis. “But the way it would work, is he really doesn't have to notify us really until the last minute.
“I'm sure if he plans on not coming he will give us plenty of notice and we already have a first alternate basically designated. Now, that may not be the first alternate that would get in for Phil because there could be another fully exempt player that withdraws.
“Players have been alerted that they need to be on standby, but not just standby late in the afternoon. We may have a withdrawal in the morning. So the alternates would be here, and if that person -- if we get that word ahead of time, that person is already going to know he's going to be taking Phil's spot.”