San Diego golfer Phil Mickelson withdraws from U.S. Open to attend daughter's graduation

Posted at 10:01 AM, Jun 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-15 14:44:55-04

CARLSBAD, Calif. (KGTV)--It's a day many parents dream of, watching their child walk across the stage to receive their high school diploma. 

Professional golfer Phil Mickelson isn't any different, but for him watching his daughter Amanda graduate meant skipping the U.S. Open, the one major championship he has yet to win. 

Clear skies over Wisconsin on Thursday forced the veteran San Diego golfer to withdraw from the U.S. Open.

Mickelson had held out hope that storms might delay tee time long enough that he'd have the chance to rush from his first child Amanda's graduation ceremony at Pacific Ridge School in Carlsbad to Erin Hills, Wisc., where the only major championship he has not yet won is being held this year.

The Associated Press reports this is the first time Mickelson has missed the U.S. Open since he failed to qualify in 1993. 

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"It's a tournament that I want to win the most," Mickelson told AP. "The only way to win is if you play and have a chance. But this is one of those moments where you look back on life and you just don't want to miss it. I'll be really glad that I was there and present."  

Amanda is the class president at her school and is scheduled to give the commencement speech. She is one of 83 students graduating from the private school. 

In 1999, Amanda's impending birth almost caused the golfer to withdraw from the U.S. Open at Pinehurst. Instead she held off one extra day to allow her dad to ultimately lose to Payne Stewart. 

Roberto Diaz of Mexico is the next alternate in line to take Mickelson's place at the U.S. Open.

His decision to skip the U.S. Open to be with his family has many San Diegans applauding him. 

"I think it's the right call. His daughter is graduating high school. How often do you get to go to your daughter's graduation, really?" a local golfer told 10News reporter Mimi Elkalla. "I would definitely do the same thing. Family first and then your job." 

Sandy Coronilla is a KGTV digital producer. Follow her @10NewsSandy