The PGA of America confirmed on Friday that reigning champion Phil Mickelson would not compete in the PGA Championship, which will be held at Southern Hills next week for the 104th time. Despite being added to the official field on Monday, there was still doubt about whether the 51-year-old will be in attendance in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The PGA of America issued a statement saying, “We have just been told that Phil Mickelson has withdrawn from the PGA Championship.” “Phil is the reigning winner and is now eligible for PGA Life Membership, so he would have been a great addition to the field. We wish Phil and Amy the best of luck and eagerly await his return to golf.”
Mickelson will be replaced in the field by Charl Schwartzel, while Harris English, who withdrew Friday due to injury, will be replaced by Kramer Hickok.
Mickelson reached new heights last year when he won the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, defeating the likes of Brooks Koepka and Louis Oosthuizen to become the oldest major winner in history. Lefty has been in hot water since then because of his ties to LIV Golf, a Saudi-backed golf league attempting to compete with the PGA Tour.
The withdrawal of Phil Mickelson from the PGA Tour.
The six-time major champion hasn’t competed on the PGA Tour since the Farmers Insurance Open in January, and he hasn’t competed since the Saudi International in early February when his comments regarding the Saudi Arabian government became public. That didn’t stop his agent, Steve Loy, from making a statement about his possible playing schedule on April 25.
“Our client Phil Mickelson has officially registered to compete in both the PGA Championship and the US Open,” said Loy. “We’ve also requested a release on his behalf to compete in the first LIV Golf Invitational in London, June 9-11.”
Since this comment was made public, the PGA Tour commissioner, Jay Monahan, has refused all waiver requests for players who wanted to compete in the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational tournament. This puts Mickelson in an even more difficult position. Despite the possibility of PGA Tour disciplinary action, he might reject Monahan’s decision and play in London. What does this signify for Mickelson’s grand slam ambitions in the future?
The year’s third major competition, without a U.S. Open trophy, will be held June 16-19, the week after the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational event. When it comes to Mickelson and other LIV Golf competitors, the United States Golf Association will have to take a position.
With just a month to go, we’ll have to wait and see what the USGA decides. What we do know is that Mickelson‘s withdrawal from the PGA Championship has addressed one issue, but many more remain unanswered.