Phil Mickelson Drops Out of US PGA Championship Title Defense | Phil Mickelson

Phil Mickelson will not defend his title at next week’s US PGA Championship in Southern Hills, tournament organizers announced.

Mickelson has been taking a break from golf since the fallout from his explosive comments about the PGA Tour and the Saudi-backed split led by Greg Norman.

The six-time grand winner officially registered for next month’s US PGA and US Open on April 25, and has also applied for a PGA Tour clearance to play the first event of the LIV Golf Invitational Series June 9-11, a request which was denied earlier this week.

His agent said at the time that Mickelson was simply keeping his options open and had no “concrete plans” about his return to action.

In a Twitter post Friday night, the PGA of America wrote, “We have just been informed that Phil Mickelson has withdrawn from the PGA Championship.

“Phil is the reigning champion and currently eligible to be a PGA Life Member and we would welcome him to participate. We wish Phil and Amy [his wife] the best and looking forward to your 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 has not played since February’s Saudi International, shortly after which his comments on the PGA Tour and Saudi Arabia-backed events were made public.

In an interview with the author of an upcoming biography, Mickelson admitted that he was well aware of Saudi Arabia’s “horrible human rights record”, including the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, but was using the threat of a separation to ” revamp” how the Tour works.

Norman said the full 14-event league was ready to launch in mid-February, until Mickelson’s comments cost him several sponsors and resulted in some players dropping out.

LIV Golf, of which the two-time Open Norman champion is CEO, has hosted eight 48-man events in 2022, with the first being held at the Centurion Club in Hertfordshire from 9-11 June. The plan is to hold 10 events in 2023 and the full 14 from 2024, and Norman insists he’s looking “decades” into the future.

Mickelson apologized for his rash remarks and said: “I have made many mistakes in my life and many have been shared with the public. My intention was never to hurt anyone and I am sorry for the people I have negatively impacted.

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“I have had many successful and fulfilling moments that I will always cherish, but I have often failed myself and others as well. Over the past 10 years, I have felt pressure and stress slowly affecting me on a deeper level.

“I know I haven’t been my best and I desperately need some time to prioritize those I love the most and work towards being the man I want to be.”

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