Phil Mickelson retires from the PGA Championship

Phil Mickelson retires from the PGA Championship

Phil Mickelson will not defend his historic PGA championship title next week in Southern Hills.

The 2021 PGA champion, who has not played competitively for more than three months and was in exile over explosive and controversial comments about the PGA Tour and the Saudi-backed league tour, withdrew from the 104 that gave on Friday known to the PGA of America.

“We have just been informed that Phil Mickelson has retired from the PGA Championship,” the PGA of America said in a statement. “Phil is the defending champion and currently eligible for PGA Life membership and we would have welcomed his participation. We wish Phil and [wife] All the best to Amy and I look forward to his return to golf.”

Mickelson, who has won six major championships including three Masters and two PGAs, retired from the Masters last month. It was the first time he hadn’t played for Augusta since 1994.

Last year at Kiawah Island, he became golf’s oldest major champion by winning at the age of 50.

Mickelson has not played on the PGA Tour since missing the cut at the Farmers Insurance Open in Torrey Pines in late January and last playing at Saudi International in February.

After golf author Alan Shipnuck, who is writing a biography of Mickelson, published sharp comments from Mickelson claiming it was a private conversation, the 51-year-old Mickelson issued an apology statement that said he would take some time off the game.

What followed was longtime sponsors Amstel Light, KPMG and Workday ending their ties with him. Callaway, who signed Mickelson until the end of his playing career in 2017, “paused” his relationship with him.

PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh made a comment in a recent interview with the 5 Clubs podcast that suggested Mickelson may have been serving a PGA Tour-sanctioned suspension ​​ban when Waugh spoke about that Mickelson got a press conference out of the way before teeing off and cleaned it up again when he decided to play next week.

“The idea is if he’s playing and if he’s able and allowed to do it … he certainly has to face the media,” Waugh said. “But I hope it’s Monday or Tuesday. We’re trying to deliver a big championship, not a circus.”

This “if he may” comment from Waugh raised questions that he might know something the rest of us don’t.

The PGA of America and the PGA Tour are separate governing bodies, but Waugh and PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan are close and have very similar policies.

Waugh revealed he’s been in talks with Mickelson, saying: “I think he’s trying to figure out when the timing is right for him. I think the game is also trying to figure out the right timing for him. How long is enough?”

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