One of the biggest stories going into this week’s U.S. Open at Erin Hills is the status of Phil Mickelson.
The 46-year-old Mickelson, who turns 47 on Friday, is just a U.S. Open away from the career Grand Slam. He is likely to miss the Open, opting to attend his daughter’s high school graduation in California, but has not officially withdrawn, since a lengthy weather delay could theoretically allow him to make his 2:20 PM tee time.
One of those paying closest attention to the situation is Roberto Diaz, the current first alternate. If Phil withdraws, Diaz would get his spot.
- On Standby: Roberto Diaz is the first alternate at the U.S. Open, meaning that if Phil Mickelson does withdraw, as expected, that he would get the open slot. Phil is unlikely to withdraw until he sees if weather is going to delay his tee time.
- Good Odds: Diaz lost in a playoff to South Africa’s Thomas Aiken in his sectional qualifier last week. Diaz says the percentages are “in his favor” that somebody will withdraw.
- Web.Com Tour Pro: Diaz is a 30-year-old Mexico native. He currently ranks 11th on the Web.com Tour money list, with finishes of solo-second and T3 his best of 2017. This is his fourth consecutive year playing full-time on the Web.com Tour.
Diaz may take Phil’s spot in the field, but he won’t take his place with the bookmakers.
with a non starter a refund, reposted Phil Mickelson at 40/1 to win US Open … his alternate Roberto Diaz is 1000/1
— Jeff Sherman (@golfodds) June 13, 2017
“It would mean the world. It’s like I’m in Disney. I was walking in and I was feeling butterflies just looking at everything. It’s the dream that everybody has as a golfer.”
–Roberto Diaz, on what getting a spot in the U.S. Open would mean.