Whether Phil Mickelson does or does not make next week's US Open he's successfully managed to get all the headlines. Hmmmm.

The latest news in the drama is that Phil now thinks he might just make his Erin Hills tee time after hot footing it from his daughter's high school "graduation" at Pacific Ridge High School (which absolutely cannot be brought forward from Thursday morning to Wednesday evening to accommodate one of the kids Dads playing in one of the world's biggest sporting events and a parents petition with 1,500 signatures.)

Phil will be jetting in to a tiny airport near Erin Hills if all goes to plan.

Why did I put "graduation" in inverted commas? Maybe because it's one of those Only In America graduation thingys? It's high school, our secondary school! Every kid gets a medal and a hug and a hand placed gently and appropriately on the child's head to convey approval in a loving and respectful way.  Over here we get a kick up the arse going out the door!

The new plan involves Mickelson landing at a tiny airport in Hartford, 15 minutes drive from Erin Hills. The airport only opens if the weather is good, but right now no twisters are forecast for Thursday.

“I’m looking forward to seeing Amanda's graduation and watching her make her speech,” Mickelson said. “But I can still make it. You never know. I think it’s possible.”

The USGA have given Mickelson a late tee time of 2.20pm alongside Stewart Cink and Steve Stricker.

Should Mickelson not make it, the USGA has also relaxed an antiquated rule forbidding alternates from playing practice rounds; so whoever might take his place will have played the course beforehand.

More as it emerges from this expertly worked PR project.

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