Phil Mickelson is withdrawing from the 2022 PGA Championship field as the reigning champion continues his hiatus

Phil Mickelson is withdrawing from the 2022 PGA Championship field as the reigning champion continues his hiatus

The PGA of America announced Friday that defending champion Phil Mickelson has withdrawn from the 104th edition of the PGA Championship next week in Southern Hills. After the 51-year-old was listed in the official field on Monday, there was still speculation as to whether he would actually be present in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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

Charl Schwartzel will replace Mickelson in the field, while Kramer Hickok will also field for Harris English, who himself retired through injury on Friday.

Mickelson reached the highest of all heights last year when he became the oldest major champion in history by winning the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island, fending off the likes of Brooks Koepka and Louis Oosthuizen. Since then, Lefty has been in hot water over his connection to LIV Golf, the Saudi-backed golf league looking to take on the PGA Tour.

The six-time major winner has not been seen in a PGA Tour event since the Farmers Insurance Open in January, and he has been out of contention since the Saudi International in early February after his comments about the regime in Saudi Arabia were released. That didn’t stop his agent Steve Loy from making a statement on April 25 about his possible game plan.

“Our client Phil Mickelson is officially registered to compete in the PGA Championship and the US Open,” explained Loy. “We have also filed an application on his behalf for clearance to attend the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational June 9-11 in London.”

Much has happened since the release of this statement as PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan has denied all exemption requests from golfers who wished to attend the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational event. This puts Mickelson in an even trickier situation. He could very well ignore Monahan’s decision and play in London despite possible disciplinary action from the PGA Tour. However, what would this mean for Mickelson’s career Grand Slam aspirations?

Without a US Open trophy, the third major championship of the year takes place June 16-19, the week after the first LIV Golf Invitational event. The United State Golf Association, one way or another, has to take a stand when it comes to Mickelson and other LIV golf participants.

With only a month away, we’ll have to wait and see what the USGA ultimately decides. What we do know is that with his retirement from the PGA Championship, Mickelson has one less question hanging around, while many more remain unanswered.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.