Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson haven’t committed to playing in the 122nd US Open this June in Brookline. But they’re keeping their options open.
With registration closing Wednesday evening, Woods and Mickelson were among the 9,265 entrants for this year’s field, the US Golf Association confirmed Thursday. It doesn’t mean they will play in the championship, to be held June 16-19 at The Country Club, but they at least officially entered and are among the 48 golfers to earn automatic exemptions.
The USGA accepted more than 9,000 entrants for the 10th straight year, with golfers from all 50 states and 79 countries. Local qualifying will take place across 109 sites between April 25 and May 23, and final qualifying will be played across 11 sites on May 23 and June 6. The US Open field will comprise 156 golfers, with a few exemptions still to be awarded.
The presence of Woods and Mickelson would add significant buzz to Boston’s first golf major since 1988. Woods, 46, earned a five-year exemption to the US Open for winning the 2019 Masters. Mickelson, who turns 52 on the day of the first round, earned a five-year exemption for winning the 2021 PGA Championship.
But both are questionable for this year’s championship because of off-course issues.
Woods’s 47th-place finish last weekend at the Masters was his first tournament back after suffering a horrific leg injury in a car crash in February 2021. After the tournament, a clearly hobbled Woods committed to playing in July’s British Open at St. Andrews, but not for May’s PGA Championship at Southern Hills in Tulsa or June’s US Open.
“I don’t know. I will try,” Woods told Sky Sports Sunday. “We’ll see what this body is able to do.”
Mickelson, meanwhile, has gone underground since February, when he lost most of his sponsorships after making comments about the Saudi-backed golf league and Saudi prince Mohammed bin Salman. Mickelson’s last PGA tournament was the Farmers Insurance Open in late January, and he hasn’t played on tour since, skipping even last week’s Masters.
Woods and Mickelson both participated in the last significant professional men’s event at The Country Club — the 1999 Ryder Cup, known for the Americans’ dramatic Sunday comeback.
But the US Open, known as the toughest test of golf, hasn’t been kind to either player in recent years.
Woods, who won the championship in 2000, 2002, and 2008, hasn’t finished higher than 21st since 2011. In the last 11 years, he skipped five US Opens and missed the cut in three as he battled back and knee injuries.
Mickelson, a six-time runner-up, has struggled in recent US Opens as he continues to chase the final piece of the career Grand Slam. Since finishing second in 2013, Mickelson has missed the cut twice and hasn’t finished in the top 45 since 2014.
Among the professionals who have to advance through qualifying if they don’t earn one of the final exemptions by June 6: Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, Lee Westwood, Will Zalatoris, Tommy Fleetwood, Adam Scott, Matt Kuchar, Keegan Bradley, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Zach Johnson and former U.S. Open champions Lucas Glover and Graeme McDowell. The USGA said former world No. 1 Jason Day and former Masters champion Danny Willett did not fill out entries.
Ben Volin can be reached at email@example.com.