OAKMONT, Pa. -- Phil Mickelson wrapped up some chipping on the ninth green -- which also doubles as the practice green -- at Oakmont Country Club on Monday. He walked up to each of his playing partners, including world No. 1 amateur Jon Rahm and NCAA individual men's champion Aaron Wise, to shake their hands before excusing himself.
He had a plane to catch: his.
Mickelson left the site of the U.S. Open on Monday afternoon, and he won't return until Wednesday. The five-time major winner hopped on his private jet, headed for home in California so he could see his daughter's eighth-grade graduation ceremony on Tuesday. Once that's through and after some celebration, Mickelson will fuel up and hop back on the jet headed for the Pittsburgh area and one final day of preparation before the Open starts on Thursday.
This isn't the first time Mickelson has done this at at U.S. Open. Back in 2013 at Merion, Mickelson left early to attend a graduation ceremony for his oldest daughter. That one happened to be on a Wednesday, with Mickelson getting back in time for his Thursday tee time. That week, Mickelson notched his record sixth-career runner-up finish in this championship, ending up T-2 to Justin Rose.
Mickelson already has plenty to celebrate this week: a graduation on Tuesday and his 46th birthday on Thursday. Were he to win the U.S. Open on Sunday (or Monday), then he'd have three more reasons: He would win his first U.S. Open, become the oldest national champion and complete the career Grand Slam.
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