School unlikely to move graduation date for Mickelson

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Phil Mickelson said that he is unlikely to play next week’s U.S. Open, barring either a time change with his daughter Amanda’s commencement or a first-round weather delay.

As for the first possibility, the private high school, Pacific Ridge in Carlsbad, Calif., said this in a statement Tuesday:

“We take confidentiality seriously and do not comment on our students or families out of respect for their privacy. We look forward to celebrating the Class of 2017 on June 15th.”

That echoes what Mickelson said Saturday, when news first broke that he was planning to miss his first U.S. Open since 1993 to attend his daughter’s high school graduation, which coincides with the opening round at Erin Hills. Amanda, who will enroll at Brown in the fall, is the commencement speaker.

When asked Saturday if there was any talk at the school about shifting the times of the ceremony, Mickelson said, “No, there’s not. I wouldn’t put them in that situation.”

The school confirmed that commencement will begin at 10 a.m. local time – or noon at Erin Hills. Barring a weather delay that would push a late-afternoon tee time back a few hours – the extended forecast for next Thursday: mostly sunny and 80 degrees – there’s seemingly no way for Mickelson to attend both events.

“I’m always holding out hope,” Mickelson said. “But as you look back on life, there are certain things you need to be there for.”

That hasn’t stopped some fans from rallying around Lefty.

PGA professional Derek Deminsky started a petition on Change.org to implore the school to reschedule the commencement. As he wrote: “For Phil not to play to see Amanda speak is absolutely beautiful and shows the kind of caring father and family man he is, but if there is ANY WAY POSSIBLE to move it to the day before, I and MILLIONS of golf fans everywhere would GREATLY appreciate it!”

When this story was posted, the petition had nearly 200 supporters.