Phil Mickelson missing this year’s Masters is not his choice, according to reports in the US.
Earlier this week it emerged Lefty would miss the first major of the year for the first time since 1993.
It came after he was embroiled in controversy over his involvement in the so-called Saudi Golf League – now officially announced as the LIV Golf Invitational Series.
Last month Mickelson announced he was taking a break from the game after his well-publicised antics – but it had been considered unlikely he would miss the majors.
However, according to Golfweek, which cites multiple sources, the 51-year-old was “either told or strongly encouraged not to come”.
It is understood officials at Augusta were uneasy about the amount of negative attention Mickelson would bring with him.
The reports also suggest that Mickelson has indeed been banned by the PGA Tour, despite commissioner Jay Monahan’s refusal to confirm that.
The tour has a policy of not commenting on disciplinary matters.
The revelation raises further questions, such as whether the six-time major winner will be at Southern Hills to defend his PGA Championship title.
Earlier this year Mickelson accused the PGA Tour of “obnoxious greed”, before it emerged he had admitted to using the prospect of a new league for “leverage” over Monahan.
He was one of a number of players believed to have been offered vast sums to join the breakaway Saudi-backed venture.
Monahan has repeatedly stated that any player who does so will be banned from the PGA Tour.