The USGA has extended Phil Mickelson a special exemption to compete in the 2021 US Open at Torrey Pines Golf Courses' South Course in La Jolla, Calif., from June 17-20.
The 50-year-old Mickelson is a six-time US Open runner-up, boasting the most second-place finishes in championship history. Mickelson would have had to climb into the top 60 in the Official World Golf Ranking by the cutoff date to earn an invitation or otherwise go through the 36-hole final qualifying process.
“Winning the US Open has been a lifelong and elusive dream, and I’ve come close so many times,” said Mickelson, a San Diego native, in a release. “You can’t win if you don’t play. I’m honored 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, a five-time major winner, needs to win the US Open to complete the career Grand Slam. Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, and Tiger Woods are the only golfers to complete the career Grand Slam in men's golf.
“Phil Mickelson’s incredible USGA playing record and overall career achievements are among the most noteworthy in the game’s history,” said USGA CEO Mike Davis in a release. “We are thrilled to welcome him to this year’s US Open at Torrey Pines.”
Mickelson seeks to become the second player, following Hale Irwin at Medinah in 1990, to win the US Open while playing on a special exemption. He is the sixth player since 2010 to receive a special exemption into the US Open, including Tom Watson (2010), Vijay Singh (2010), Retief Goosen (2016), Jim Furyk (2018) and Ernie Els (2018 and 2019).