The United States Golf Association (USGA) announced that Phil Mickelson has accepted a special exemption into the 2021 U.S. Open.
Before accepting the special invite, the San Diego native had not qualified for this year’s edition of America’s national golf championship, which will be contested at Torrey Pines, a course Mickelson played on as a junior golfer.
“Winning the U.S. Open has been a lifelong and elusive dream, and I’ve come close so many times,” said Mickelson in a released statement.
“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.”
It will mark Mickelson’s 30th career start at the U.S. Open, where he’s finished runner-up six times, the most by any player in history to never have won.
“Phil Mickelson’s incredible USGA playing record and overall career achievements are among the most noteworthy in the game’s history,” Mike Davis, the USGA CEO, said in a statement.
“We are thrilled to welcome him to this year’s U.S. Open at Torrey Pines.”
Starting with Ben Hogan in 1953, this marks the 53rd special exemption given by the USGA, which generally go to former winners such as 4-time winner Jack Nicklaus who received eight.