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The PGA of America introduced Friday that Mickelson has withdrawn from the PGA Championship.
“We’ve got simply been knowledgeable that Phil Mickelson has withdrawn from the PGA Championship,” the assertion mentioned. “Phil is the defending champion and at present eligible to be a PGA Life Member and we’d have welcomed him to take part. We want Phil and [wife] Amy the perfect and look ahead to his return to golf.”
Final month, Mickelson, a six-time main champion, skipped the Masters, an occasion he has received 3 times, 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 12 months. He hasn’t performed on the PGA Tour since lacking the reduce 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 had been revealed by creator Alan Shipnuck, whose unauthorized biography of the golfer popularly generally known as “Lefty” might be launched subsequent week.
Mickelson criticized the PGA Tour for its “greed” and mentioned 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 become involved with,” Mickelson informed Shipnuck throughout a dialog in November. “They killed [Washington Post reporter and U.S. resident Jamal] Khashoggi and have a horrible report on human rights. They execute individuals over there for being homosexual. Figuring out all of this, why would I even think about it? As a result of it is a once-in-a-lifetime alternative to reshape how the PGA Tour operates.”
Mickelson later apologized for his feedback.
Longtime sponsors Amstel Mild, KPMG and Workday ended their relationships with him. Callaway, which in 2017 signed Mickelson to a contract by the top of his enjoying profession, paused its relationship with him.
PGA Tour professional Charley Hoffman, who additionally grew up in San Diego and is certainly one of Mickelson’s closest pals, informed ESPN on Wednesday that he can be stunned if Mickelson performed at Southern Hills.
“I believe mentally Phil might be in a very good area proper now, to be trustworthy with you,” Hoffman mentioned. “I would not be stunned if he did not play. I do not know if he needs to cope with [the media]. He is finished it his complete life. I believe he has sufficient respect for the sport that he’ll play, nevertheless it would not shock me if he did not. I do not suppose he needs to cope with it.”
In response to 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 12 months. Rory McIlroy was the final one in 2015, when he missed The Open after injuring his ankle whereas enjoying soccer shortly earlier than the match. Tiger 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.