Phil Mickelson withdraws from PGA Championship, won’t defend title


On Friday, PGA of America announced that defending champion Phil Mickelson has withdrawn from this year’s PGA Championship. 

“We have just been informed that Phil Mickelson has withdrawn from the PGA Championship,” the statement from PGA of America read.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

Mickelson hasn’t played since finishing tied for 18th in the Saudi International in February. 

Earlier this year, he came under fire for comments made in a leaked interview about crimes committed by the regime in Saudi Arabia while supporting the budding Saudi Golf League. 

“We know they killed [Washington Post reporter and U.S. resident Jamal] Khashoggi and have a horrible record on human rights. They execute people over there for being gay,” Mickelson said to golf author and journalist Alan Shipnuck. “Knowing all of this, why would I even consider it? Because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape how the PGA Tour operates.”

Mickelson later apologized for his comments via his Twitter account back in February. 

Mickelson withdrawing from the PGA Championship comes a little over a month after he bowed out of the Masters at Augusta National

“We did not disinvite Phil,” Augusta National Golf Club chairman Fred Ridley told the media ahead of this year’s Masters. “Phil reached out to me and let me know that he did not intend to play. That was by way of a text. I thanked him for his courtesy.” 

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