The US Open, the national championship of golf, is a huge deal. However, for professional golfer Phil Mickelson, supporting his daughter means way more.
Mickelson is skipping the U.S. Open to attend his daughter’s high school graduation. The golfer has won the Masters, the Open Championship and the PGA Championship, but he has never let his profession get in the way of his family.
Due to the location and time of the graduation, Mickelson would not be able to compete as well as see his daughter Amanda walk across the stage to graduate. To Michelson, being at the event is more important. “As I look back on life, this is a moment I’ll always cherish and be glad I was present,” he said.
This is not the first time that Mickelson’s life as a professional golfer has collided with family business. Time and time again Mickelson has done whatever he could to make sure his family remained top priority.
In 1999, Mickelson’s wife Amy’s due date with Amanda fell during the time of the U.S. Open. In order to be prepared to leave for the hospital at any second, Mickelson’s caddie kept a beeper in his pocket that would alert Phil if Amy was going into labor.
Mickelson said he was ready to leave the tournament at a moment’s notice no matter where he stood on the leaderboard.
Luckily, Amy delivered the day after the final round, and her husband finished strong in second to Payne Stewart.
Flash forward to 2013, when Mickelson had to fly home to make it in time for Amanda’s 8th grade graduation, which also coincided with the tournament. He was able to make it in time and even to return back quickly enough to make the first round of the tournament.
Mickelson then finished runner-up once again, his record sixth second-place finish at the major.
Speaking about his daughter, who will attend Brown University, Mickelson said, “I’m really excited for Amanda to go to college, because she’s really a unique and dynamic person. She thrives when she’s on her own, when people can appreciate who she really is.”
College is a big step, and Mickelson is proving that he will be there for his daughter every step of the way.
Amy told the Times in a phone interview, “Phil desperately, desperately wants to win the U.S. Open. I would have totally understood had he needed to play the U.S. Open. We could have done a video or this or that.” Mickelson’s demonstration of selfless support is heartwarming.
The decision to put family first showcases the impact that one’s decisions can have on others. A little support and encouragement can go a long way. Michelson is setting a great foundation for what lays ahead in Amanda’s future.
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