Phil Mickelson will be out of competitive golf until at least the Masters Tournament.
Mickelson’s name was removed off the field list for next month’s tournament at Augusta National and added to the list of past champions who will not compete, according to Morning Read’s Bob Harig. Mickelson would certainly skip the year’s first major, which he has won three times, a spokeswoman for Augusta National subsequently confirmed to GolfChannel.com.
Mickelson’s withdrawal came without explanation.
Mickelson hasn’t played on the PGA Tour since late January’s Farmers Insurance Open. The Saudi International was his last start anywhere the following week.
The extended vacation comes after Mickelson’s inflammatory comments to golf writer Alan Shipnuck of the Firepit Collective in November, which were made public last month. Despite admitting to the Saudi regime’s human-rights atrocities, Mickelson talks about using the Saudi-backed league, now known as the LIV Golf Invitational Series, as leverage against the Tour in his interview with Shipnuck, which Mickelson claims was off the record while Shipnuck has argued otherwise.
Mickelson told Shipnuck, “[The Saudis] are scary motherf—-ers to get involved with.” “We know they assassinated [Washington Post reporter and U.S. resident Jamal] Khashoggi and have a dismal human rights record. People are executed for being gay in that country.
Why would I ever consider it knowing all of this? Because this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to change the way the PGA Tour works.”
Mickelson composed and released a statement on Feb. 22 after experiencing backlash and losing numerous sponsors. Mickelson stated in the 530-word statement that he would be taking “time away” from the game.
“Although it may not appear so now given my recent comments,” Mickelson said in a statement, “my actions throughout this process have always been in the best interests of golf, my peers, sponsors, and fans.” “I used words that I deeply regret since they did not accurately reflect my true sentiments or intentions.” It was rash, I insulted people, and I apologize profusely for the language I used. I’m devastated and will make every attempt to reflect and learn from this experience. … I’ve had many wonderful and satisfying experiences that I’ll always remember, but I’ve also failed myself and others countless times. I’ve been feeling the pressure and tension for the past ten years, and it’s been steadily impacting me on a deeper level.
I’m well aware that I haven’t been my best, and I really need some time away to focus on the people I care about most and concentrate on becoming the guy I want to be.”
Mickelson did not specify how long the break would last, nor did Tour commissioner Jay Monahan disclose whether Mickelson had been suspended. “We don’t comment on disciplinary matters, possible matters, or real matters,” Monahan stated during his pre-tournament press conference at The Players Championship, when asked explicitly if Mickelson had been suspended by the Tour. But out here, every player is responsible for their acts.”
Monahan did note that he had not spoken to Mickelson since the public revelation of Mickelson’s remarks to Shipnuck, but that such a chat would be necessary before Mickelson returns to the Tour.
“I believe he has the ball in his hands.” “I’d appreciate a call from him,” Monahan remarked. “It’s difficult for me to discuss the various situations that could occur.”
Mickelson, on the other hand, will miss his first Masters since 1994, the year after he made his professional debut at Augusta National. Mickelson has three wins in 29 career starts (2004, 2006, and 2010), as well as 11 top-5s, 15 top-10s, and only three missed cuts.
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