Phil Mickelson, special exemption at US Open

Phil Mickelson will get another chance to claim the career grand slam and the one major championship that has famously eluded him after the United States Golf Association (USGA) handed the veteran a special exemption into the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines.

Mickelson, now 50, has finished runner up at his national championship six times but was unlikely to gain exemption via traditional methods for the June 17-20 tournament that will be played in his hometown San Diego.

At 116th in the world rankings he was set to enter sectional qualifying in Columbus, Ohio after the Memorial Tournament Presented by Nationwide on June 7, but now can rest easy knowing a tee time is reserved.

The 44-time PGA TOUR winner has five majors in his resume; three Masters titles (2004, 2006, 2010), a PGA Championship (2005) and an Open Championship (2013) but has been unable to close the deal at the U.S. Open in his 29 previous appearances.

Phil Mickelson, statements

“Winning the U.S. Open has been a lifelong and elusive dream, and I’ve come close so many times. 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.”

The European Tour and Ryder Cup Europe today announced Tour Consumer Experiences, an 11-year strategic venture with industry-leading sports marketing and data technology company Two Circles

Tour Consumer Experiences will combine the European Tour and Ryder Cup Europe’s knowledge of creating world-class golf experiences with Two Circles’ extensive insight around sports fan behaviours and technology-driven sales and marketing capabilities.

The new venture will manage sales and marketing of all ticketing and premium experiences for the next three European editions of the Ryder Cup and select European Tour events until 2031, and see the introduction of innovative new products that enhance the event experience and grow ticketing and premium revenue.

In addition to the 2023 Ryder Cup at Marco Simone, Rome, Italy, the 2027 edition at Adare Manor, Ireland and the 2031 edition, at a venue to be announced, the venture covers the annual BMW PGA Championship and Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open, two of the European Tour’s premium Rolex Series events, and several other annual tournaments.

Tour Consumer Experiences is made up from personnel from all three parties covering marketing, data and insight, premium sales and ticketing operations. Two Circles will also invest significant resources into the venture.

The venture has already enjoyed a successful start, with a record-breaking first weekend of sales for this year’s BMW PGA Championship following the launch of flexible ticket options for the third Rolex Series event of 2021 last Friday.

Guy Kinnings, Deputy CEO European Tour, Ryder Cup Director and Chief Commercial Officer, said: “We are delighted to announce this venture with Two Circles. Fans are one of the key drivers behind the success of our events, in particular the Ryder Cup, and we look forward to working with Two Circles to develop consumer experiences for all spectators at our tournaments.

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