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Reigning champ Mickelson withdraws from PGA Championship


Phil Mickelson stands on the 11th hole during the second round of The Farmers Insurance Open on the North Course at Torrey Pines Golf Course on January 27, 2022 in La Jolla, California.   Donald Miralle/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by DONALD MIRALLE / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

Phil Mickelson stands on the eleventh gap in the course of the second spherical of The Farmers Insurance Open on the North Course at Torrey Pines Golf Course on January 27, 2022 in La Jolla, California.   (Getty Images by way of AFP)

WASHINGTON  – Reigning champion Phil Mickelson, who hasn’t performed for the reason that launch of controversial feedback concerning the Saudi-backed LIV Golf collection, has withdrawn from the PGA Championship, the PGA of America introduced Friday.

The 51-year-old American left-hander grew to become the oldest main winner in golf historical past final yr when he received the PGA at Kiawah Island for his sixth profession main title.

But he has not performed since January after his remarks to writer Alan Shipnuck supporting the Saudi-backed rival to the US PGA Tour went public in February.

Mickelson, a 45-time US PGA Tour winner, didn’t play in final month’s Masters for the primary time since 1994 and is lacking the PGA Championship for the primary time since he made his debut in 1993.

It’s the primary yr Mickelson has missed two majors since 1993, when he didn’t play the US or British Opens.

Had Mickelson performed at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Oklahoma, he would have confronted questions over his position with a Saudi group he known as “scary” with a “horrible record on human rights”.

Mickelson admitted being prepared to miss points such because the homicide of US journalist Jamal Khashoggi to achieve leverage over the US PGA Tour.

“We have just been informed that Phil Mickelson has withdrawn from the PGA Championship,” the PGA of America stated in a press release.

“Phil is the defending champion and presently eligible to be a PGA Life Member and we’d have welcomed him to take part.

“We wish Phil and Amy the very best and look forward to his return to golf.”

Mickelson, ranked 58th on the planet, issued an apology after his feedback have been made public, saying his expertise with LIV Golf was “very positive” and calling these he labored with “supportive” and “visionaries” at the same time as sponsors dropped him and he started a break saying he would “desperately need some time away.”

When, or if, Mickelson returns to PGA occasions stays unclear.

The LIV Golf collection that opens in London subsequent month plans eight occasions this yr, 4 at US venues, however no names of gamers have been revealed.

The US PGA Tour stated earlier this week it had refused all requests by tour members to play within the LIV London occasion, which will likely be performed reverse the US PGA’s Canadian Open.

At the middle of the controversy is Mickelson, who had assist from different gamers in February after issuing his apology.

“I don’t think his whole career or whole legacy should change because of a couple comments,” reigning US Open champion Jon Rahm of Spain stated of Mickelson.

Four-time main winner Rory McIlroy gave his assist to Mickelson additionally, although like Rahm he has rejected the LIV Golf circuit.

“This whole situation is unfortunate,” McIlroy stated. “Phil will likely be again. I feel the gamers need to see him again. He’s achieved such a beautiful job for the sport of golf.

“We should be allowed to ask for forgiveness and for people to forgive us and move on. Hopefully people will welcome him back and be glad that he’s back.”

Other gamers had a firmer message for individuals who again the LIV Golf collection, weary of questions concerning the upstart group.

“If you want to go, go,” 2017 PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas stated. “Plenty of guys have been behind the scenes saying, ‘I’m going, I’m doing this’. Just go then.”

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