Phil Mickelson flies across country on eve of U.S. Open for daughter’s graduation, practice

There are ways to prepare for a U.S. Open, and flying across the country hours before your tee time probably isn't one of the best. But then Phil Mickelson has never once taken the easy route to success.

As he's made clear, family comes before all. But if you can sneak in a little golf around family obligations, so much the better, right?

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The weather has been wretched at Merion for days, so Mickelson decided to fly home to San Diego early to practice. Yes, he flew across the continent, which is probably far enough to escape the sopping mud of Pennsylvania.

His original purpose was to attend the eighth-grade graduation of his daughter Amanda, which he'll still do. But why not practice there, since nobody got much practice done at Merion on Monday?

Mickelson practiced at Merion last week and then placed second at the FedEx St. Jude Classic in Memphis. He'll attend the ceremony on Wednesday and then jump on another plane to return to Merion.

His tee time on Thursday morning is a bright-and-early 7:11 a.m. It's a rugged schedule, but chances are Phil has no problem with it whatsoever.

Golf history note: Amanda was born the day after Mickelson lost the 1999 U.S. Open to Payne Stewart. In one of golf's most memorable moments, Stewart, who would die later that year, embraced Mickelson after the victory and told him, "There's nothing like being a father." Mickelson, clearly, has taken that lesson to heart.

-Follow Jay Busbee on Twitter at @jaybusbee.-

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