Phil Mickelson is still working to secure his place in the 2020 US Open and is adamant that if he doesn't qualify then he won't play

It’s the only major to have eluded Phil Mickelson’s grasp to date. And when it was announced that the tournament would return to Winged Foot, everyone earmarked 2020 as the year he would finally complete his Grand Slam.

The New York course is, after all, where he went closest to winning the one he wants the most. In 2006, leading through 54 holes, Mickleson’s now infamous final-round 74 let Geoff Ogilvy in for his only major title to date.

As it stands Mickelson is not yet exempt for this year’s edition and the understanding is the USGA will offer him a place if he doesn’t qualify. But Lefty’s not interested.

“I won’t accept it,” he told reporters ahead of the Pebble Beach Pro-Am. “So I am either going to get in the field on my own or I’ll have to try to qualify. I’m not going to take a special exemption.”

When quizzed on why he wouldn’t accept an exemption he explained that he would view it as a “sympathy spot”.

He added: “They have never been an organisation that likes to give out special exemptions. I don’t want a special exemption. I think I’ll get in the tournament. If I get in, I deserve to be there. If I don’t I don’t.I don’t want a sympathy spot. If I am good enough to make it and qualify, then I need to earn my spot there.”

How can Phil Mickelson qualify for the US Open?

At the time of writing, Mickelson is ranked at No. 72 in the world. To qualify this way, he would need to move inside the top 60 two weeks before or on the week of the US Open.

Alternatively, if he wins the Masters, the Players, the PGA Championship, or two or more regular PGA Tour events he will be in for Winged Foot.

Then, of course, there are sectional qualifiers as a last resort.

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