- The Washington Times
Thursday, April 14, 2022

It’s unclear whether they’ll play, but Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods haven’t ruled out playing in the U.S. Open.

Golf’s two most popular players on Wednesday both registered for the 122nd U.S. Open before the event’s deadline. For fully exempt players like Woods and Mickelson, the move is purely procedural and doesn’t mean they’ll play. But it does mean they both could play in the event at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts., from June 16-19. 

The United States Golf Association announced Wednesday that it received 9,265 entries — the sixth-highest in tournament history. Qualifiers will be held in Japan, Canada and the U.S. from late April through early June. Woods is exempt from qualifying after his 2019 Masters win, while Mickelson’s PGA Championship in 2021 gives him a five-year exemption. 

While Woods hasn’t said whether he’ll play in the U.S. Open, the 15-time major champion has committed to play in the JP McManus Pro-Am at Adare Manor in Limerick, Ireland, on July 4-5. The pro-am is one week before the 150th British Open Championship at the famous St. Andrews, an event Woods said after his Masters comeback last week that he hopes to play. 

“I am looking forward to St. Andrews. That’s something that’s very near and dear to my heart,” Woods said. “I’ve won two Opens there. It’s the home of golf. It’s my favorite golf course in the world. So, I will be there for that one.”

Woods told Sky Sports last week that he wasn’t sure if he’d play in the U.S. Open or the PGA Championship, admitting he won’t play a full schedule “ever again.”

“It’ll be just the big events. I don’t know if I’ll play [the PGA Championship] at Southern Hills or not,” Woods said. “There’s no doubt I will try to get ready for Southern Hills, and we’ll see what this body is able to do.”

Mickelson, meanwhile, hasn’t played since the controversy surrounding his comments regarding the Saudi Arabia-funded LIV Golf Invitational Series. Lefty said he was willing to overlook the country’s human-rights concerns if it might help him use the Greg Norman-led league as leverage against the PGA Tour. Mickelson received heavy backlash for his comments, including losing several sponsors and being dropped from his event on the PGA Tour, and later apologized. 

The LIV Golf Invitational Series, which is rumored to snag several high-profile golfers from the PGA Tour, is scheduled to kick off in June with an eight-event tour with a $255 million prize purse. 

• Jacob Calvin Meyer can be reached at jmeyer@washingtontimes.com.

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