But when he falls short, the five-time significant winner — who’s currently ranked 113th in the entire world — said Thursday he hasn’t decided whether he’ll take a special exemption in the United States Golf Association to perform at the 121st U.S. Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course.

“I really don’t understand; I simply don’t understand the answer to that right today,” Mickelson told ESPN after shooting 2-over-par 73 in the Valspar Championship. “I am scheduled to undergo qualifying the day following the Museum [Tournament in Ohio].”

Mickelson, 50, continues to be clubbed in the U.S. Open six occasions: 1999 to Payne Stewart in Pinehurst; 2002 into Tiger Woods in Bethpage; 2004 into Retief Goosen in Shinnecock Hills; 2006 into Geoff Ogilvy in Winged Foot; 2009 into Lucas Glover in Bethpage; and 2013 into Justin Rose in Merion.

That’s the most of any player never to have won the tournament, the only important keeping Mickelson from finishing a career Grand Slam. He’s four additional top-10s from the championship.

Lefty has played 31 U.S. Opens relationship to his first since an amateur in 1990 and at one point played 23 in a row. He also missed the 2017 U.S. Open because his daughter’s high school graduation and had played every preceding one beginning in 1994.

This past year, ahead of this coronavirus pandemic, Mickelson said he’d turn down a particular exemption if offered you into the U.S. Open, to be played at Winged Foot — at which in 2006 that a final-hole dual bogey cost him a place in a playoff.

“So I’m either going to become from the area in my own or I will have to attempt and qualify. I am not planning to have a particular exemption. I really don’t need a particular exemption. I believe I will get from the championship. If I do not, I do not. I really don’t need a sympathy spot. If I am good enough to create it qualify, then I want to make my place there.”

As a result of outbreak, the USGA scrapped its customary qualifying system this past year and moved into an all-exempt program, below which Mickelson made it to the area before missing the cut.

To be completely exempt, Mickelson should be one of the best 60 by May 24 or June 7. That probably means at least one top-three complete or 2 at the top five. He is in danger of missing the cut in the Valspar Championship and can be scheduled to play with next week’s Wells Fargo Championship, the PGA Championship and also the Museum Before the Last cutoff.

Short of this, he could proceed through sectional qualifying, which awards stains to approximately half the 156-player area at different websites. The qualifying place he’s chosen is performed over two classes in Ohio.

Considering that the U.S. Open reaches Torrey Pines — at which Mickelson has three times won the PGA Tour event played in the place — it’s possible he could be receptive to some USGA invitation, but he said it was not a part of the choice.

“I simply don’t understand the answer ”

The USGA has allowed 34 players a total of 52 unique exemptions relationship to 1966, as it gave its original to Ben Hogan. Arnold Palmer was awarded five, and he played with his closing U.S. Open in 1994 at age 64. The final player who hadn’t won the U.S. Open to get a special exemption was Nick Price at 2005.

The USGA would normally announce any particular exemptions from the middle of next month.