Phil Mickelson will NOT be defending his US PGA Championship title.
The 51-year-old made history at Kiawah Island last year when he became the oldest men’s major champion in history.
However, in a brief statement, the PGA of America has announced that the six-time major-winner will not take his place in the field at Southern Hills next week.
“We have just been informed that Phil Mickelson has withdrawn from the PGA Championship,” said a tournament spokesperson. “Phil is the defending champion and currently eligible to be a PGA Life Member and we would have welcomed him to participate.”
World No.58 Mickelson hasn’t made a competitive appearance since the Saudi International at the start of February where he finished in a tie for 18th.
Later that month, he announced he would be taking an indefinite leave of absence from the game following incendiary remarks he made about both the PGA Tour and the Saudi Arabian bankrollers of Greg Norman’s new start-up circuit, the LIV Golf Invitational Series.
Mickelson was widely condemned for accusing the PGA Tour of “obnoxious greed” and for branding the Saudis “scary motherf*****s to get involved with”.
In a subsequent statement, he apologised for his “reckless” choice of words. However, that was not enough to prevent him from losing a string of sponsors, Workday and KPMG amongst them.
Last month, he missed The Masters for the first time since 1994 and will now miss the defence of the US PGA he won in such thrilling, record-breaking fashion a year ago.
That, in turn, will surely intensify that he will next peg it up competitively at the Centurion Club in Hertfordshire early next month when the LIV Golf Invitational Series stages its first event.
What do you make of Mickelson’s US PGA absence?
Join the conversation now on the bunkered Facebook page.