ERIN, Wis. – With Phil Mickelson hanging on to the slim chance of a poor weather forecast and a lengthy delay on Thursday at Erin Hills and Tiger Woods on the mend from another back surgery earlier this year, this week’s U.S. Open marks an interesting milestone.
For the first time since the 1994 Masters, neither Woods nor Mickelson will be in the field at a major championship.
While Mickelson, who will attend his daughter’s graduation from high school on Thursday in Southern California, still has a chance to make his opening tee time (2:20 p.m.) he’ll need some sort of delay to make the timing work and that doesn’t seem likely.
Which means the 2017 U.S. Open is something of a seminal moment for the game’s two biggest stars over the last 20 years.
“It's a little weird. I didn't think that would happen at this time,” Jordan Spieth said on Tuesday. “It kind of makes me feel like we're maybe 10 years down the road. But at the same time it is what it is and you certainly hope that they're both back playing their best in the near future.”
The 2009 Open Championship was the last major Mickelson missed and Woods has missed three of the last nine majors because of an assortment of injuries.