Defending champion Phil Mickelson withdraws from PGA Championship

Defending champion Phil Mickelson withdraws from PGA Championship
Phil Mickelson, shown May 23, 2021, after winning last year’s PGA Championship, hasn’t competed on the PGA Tour since missing the cut at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in January. File Photo by Richard Ellis/UPI | License Photo

May 13 (UPI) — The PGA of America announced Friday that Phil Mickelson has withdrawn from next week’s PGA Championship golf tournament.

Mickelson, who hasn’t played competitively in more than three months, is the reigning PGA Championship winner.

“We have just been informed that Phil Mickelson has withdrawn from the PGA Championship,” the statement said. “Phil is the defending champion and currently eligible to be a PGA Life Member and we would have welcomed him to participate. We wish Phil and [wife] Amy the very best and look forward to his return to golf.”

Mickelson, a six-time major champion, also skipped last month’s Masters — an event he has won three times — for the first time since 1994.

The 51-year-old Mickelson became golf’s oldest major champion by winning the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island in South Carolina at the age of 50 last year. He hasn’t competed on the PGA Tour since missing the cut at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in January.

Mickelson has taken time away from the sport after his controversial comments about the PGA Tour and the Saudi Arabian financiers of a breakaway golf circuit were published by author Alan Shipnuck, whose unauthorized biography of the star golfer will be released next week.

In the excerpt, Mickelson criticized the PGA Tour for its “greed” and said he was looking past the Saudi Arabian monarchy’s history of human rights violations to gain leverage with Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan.

Mickelson’s comments were met with widespread criticism, including from fellow PGA Tour players. The backlash caused him to apologize days later.

In response to Mickelson’s comments, Callaway suspended its sponsorship with Mickelson, and KPMG, Amstel Light and Workday ended their partnerships with him.


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