USGA announces special exemption for Phil Mickelson into the 2021 U.S. Open

LIBERTY CORNER, N.J. (May 14, 2021) – The United States Golf Association (USGA) today announced that Phil Mickelson has received a special exemption into the 121st U.S. Open Championship, which will be conducted June 17-20 at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego, Calif. 


“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. “We are thrilled to welcome him to this year’s U.S. Open at Torrey Pines.”


Mickelson, 50, is a six-time U.S. Open runner-up, most in championship history, and has recorded ten top-10 finishes in 29 appearances. He won the 1990 U.S. Amateur Championship and was a member of the 1989 and 1991 USA Walker Cup Teams and the 1990 USA World Amateur Team.  


“Winning the U.S. Open has been a lifelong and elusive dream, and I’ve come close so many times,” said Mickelson, a San Diego native. “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 seeks to join Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, and Tiger Woods and become just the sixth in history to win all four majors. Among Mickelson’s 44 career professional victories are five major titles – the 2004, 2006, and 2010 Masters Tournaments, the 2005 PGA Championship, and the 2013 British Open Championship. In addition, Mickelson has represented the USA on 12 Ryder Cup teams and 12 Presidents Cup squads.  


Mickelson is the sixth player since 2010 to receive a special exemption into the U.S. Open. The list includes Tom Watson (2010), Vijay Singh (2010), Retief Goosen (2016), Jim Furyk (2018), and Ernie Els (twice, in 2018 and 2019). Hale Irwin is the lone player to win the U.S. Open playing on a special exemption, doing so in a 19-hole playoff over Mike Donald in 1990 at Medinah (Ill.) Country Club to claim his third U.S. Open title. 


The 121st U.S. Open will be the third USGA championship to be played on the South Course at Torrey Pines Golf Course, which hosted the 1998 U.S. Amateur Public Links won by Trevor Immelman, and the 2008 U.S. Open memorably won by Tiger Woods in a 19-hole Monday playoff over Rocco Mediate. The U.S. Open will be the 85th USGA championship conducted in the state of California. Two weeks earlier, the 76th U.S. Women’s Open will be played at The Olympic Club in San Francisco.  


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About the USGA
The USGA is a nonprofit organization that celebrates, serves, and advances the game of golf. Founded in 1894, we conduct many golf’s premier professional and amateur championships, including the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open. With The R&A, we govern the sport via a global set of playing, equipment, handicapping, and amateur status rules. The USGA campus in Liberty Corner, New Jersey, is home to the Association’s Research and Test Center, where science and innovation are fueling a healthy and sustainable game for the future. The campus is also home to the USGA Golf Museum, where we honor the game by curating the world’s most comprehensive archive of golf artifacts. To learn more, visit 

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