Phil Mickelson’s absence from aggressive golf to proceed as defending champ withdraws from subsequent week’s PGA Championship

Reigning PGA Championship winner Phil Mickelson, who hasn’t performed competitively in additional than three months, will not defend his title subsequent week at Southern Hills Nation Membership in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The PGA of America introduced Friday that Mickelson has withdrawn from the PGA Championship.

“We have just been informed that Phil Mickelson has withdrawn from the PGA Championship,” the assertion stated. “Phil is the defending champion and currently eligible to be a PGA Life Member and we would have welcomed him to participate. We wish Phil and [wife] Amy the very best and look forward to his return to golf.”

Tiger Woods, in the meantime, remained within the area and is scheduled to fulfill the media at Southern Hills on Tuesday. Woods final performed within the Masters, when he returned competitively for the primary time since his February 2021 automotive wreck.

Final month, Mickelson, a six-time main champion, skipped the Masters, an occasion he has gained thrice, for the primary time since 1994.

Mickelson grew to become golf’s oldest main champion by profitable the PGA at Kiawah Island in South Carolina at age 50 final yr. He hasn’t performed on the PGA Tour since lacking the minimize on the Farmers Insurance coverage Open at Torrey Pines in late January.

Mickelson is taking time away from golf after his controversial feedback in regards to the PGA Tour and the Saudi Arabian financiers of a breakaway circuit have been revealed by writer Alan Shipnuck, whose unauthorized biography of the golfer popularly often known as “Lefty” will likely be launched subsequent week.

Mickelson criticized the PGA Tour for its “greed” and stated he was trying previous the Saudi Arabian monarchy’s alleged human rights violations to achieve leverage with the tour.

“They’re scary motherf—ers to get involved with,” Mickelson instructed Shipnuck throughout a dialog in November. “They killed [Washington Post reporter and U.S. resident Jamal] Khashoggi and have a horrible record on human rights. They execute people over there for being gay. Knowing all of this, why would I even consider it? Because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape how the PGA Tour operates.”

Mickelson later apologized for his feedback.

Longtime sponsors Amstel Gentle, KPMG and Workday ended their relationships with him. Callaway, which in 2017 signed Mickelson to a contract by way of the top of his taking part in profession, paused its relationship with him.

PGA Tour professional Charley Hoffman, who additionally grew up in San Diego and is considered one of Mickelson’s closest pals, instructed ESPN on Wednesday that he could be shocked if Mickelson performed at Southern Hills.

“I think mentally Phil is probably in a really good space right now, to be honest with you,” Hoffman stated. “I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t play. I don’t know if he wants to deal with [the media]. He’s done it his whole life. I think he has enough respect for the game that he will play, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he didn’t. I don’t think he wants to deal with it.”

In keeping with ESPN Stats & Info, Mickelson is simply the fourth golfer within the final 50 years to not try and defend his title at a significant the following yr. Rory McIlroy was the final one in 2015, when he missed The Open after injuring his ankle whereas taking part in soccer shortly earlier than the match. Woods missed the 2008 PGA Championship, after profitable it in 2006 and 2007, as he was nonetheless recovering from knee surgical procedure. Payne Stewart, the 1999 U.S. Open champion, was killed in a airplane accident in October 1999.

Woods, a 15-time main champion, returns to Southern Hills close to the fifteenth anniversary of his third PGA Championship victory. The final time he gained the occasion, he was 6 photographs off the lead after the primary spherical however fired a 7-under 63 within the second to tie what was then the bottom single-round rating at a males’s main and the course file.

Final month, Woods completed forty seventh on the Masters, his first official tour occasion in 14 months. He made the minimize however shot 6-over 78 in every of the final two rounds, his worst scores at Augusta Nationwide.

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