Phil Mickelson will not defend his title at next week’s US PGA Championship in Southern Hills, tournament organizers have announced.
Mickelson has taken a break from golf since the fallout from his explosive comments on the PGA Tour and the Saudi-backed breakaway led by Greg Norman.
The six-time major winner has officially registered for the US PGA and next month’s US Open on April 25 and has also requested a release from the PGA Tour to play the first LIV Golf Invitational Series event from June 9-11. , a request that was denied earlier. this week.
His agent said at the time that Mickelson was simply keeping his options open and had no “concrete plans” regarding his return to action.
In a Twitter post on Friday evening, the PGA of America wrote: “We have just been informed that Phil Mickelson has retired from the PGA Championship.
“Phil is the defending champion and currently eligible for PGA Life Membership and we would have welcomed him. We wish Phil and Amy [his wife] the best and look forward to his return to golf.
Mickelson’s victory at Kiawah Island last year made him the oldest winner of a men’s major championship, his two-stroke victory over Brooks Koepka and Louis Oosthuizen coming just a month before his 51st birthday.
The southpaw hasn’t played since the Saudi International in February, shortly after his comments on the PGA Tour and Saudi-backed events were made public.
In an interview with the author of a forthcoming biography, Mickelson admitted he was well aware of Saudi Arabia’s “horrible human rights record”, including the murder of the journalist of the Washington Post’s Jamal Khashoggi, but that he was using the threat of a breakaway to “reshape” how the Tour works.
Norman said the full 14-event league was ready to go in mid-February until Mickelson’s comments cost him several sponsors and led to some players being pulled out.
LIV Golf, of which the two-time Open Norman champion is CEO, has instead held eight 48-player events in 2022, with the first to take place at the Centurion Club in Hertfordshire from June 9-11. The plan is to hold 10 events in 2023 and the full 14 from 2024, and Norman insists he is looking “decades” into the future.
Mickelson apologized for his reckless comments and said: “I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life and a lot have been shared with the public. It was never my intention to hurt anyone and I’m so sorry for the people I negatively impacted.
“I have had many successful and rewarding moments that I will always cherish, but I have often failed myself and others as well. Over the past 10 years, I have felt the pressure and stress slowly affect me at a deeper level.
“I know I haven’t been at my best and I desperately need time to prioritize those I love the most and work to be the man I want to be.”