Phil Mickelson said he will be leaving the PGA Tour as golfers prepare to compete in this week’s first LIV golf event in London.
The 2013 Open winner shot a 72 at a venue he loves on Thursday. He said he “couldn’t be happier” with his decision to join LIV Golf, despite the company still facing criticism.
How is Phil Mickelson doing? is he retired
Phil Mickelson, the current PGA Championship champion, will not defend his title next week at the Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He hasn’t played in a tournament for more than three months.
Mickelson retired from the PGA Championship on Friday, the PGA of America announced. After hurtful remarks about the Saudi Arabia-based Super Golf League, Mickelson quit the sport three months ago. He stopped going to the master in April.
Mickelson, who has won six Majors, did not compete in the Masters this year for the first time since 1994. He has won the tournament three times.
Mickelson became the oldest major winner in golf history when, at the age of 50, he won the PGA on Kiawah Island in South Carolina. He has not played on the PGA Tour since late January, when he failed to make the cut at the Farmers Insurance Open in Torrey Pines.
The Open Broadcast Cut and the Phil Mickelson PGA Drama
After author Alan Shipnuck published his provocative comments about the PGA Tour and Saudi Arabian supporters of a breakaway circuit in Lefty, an unofficial biography of the golfer, Mickelson has decided to take a break from the sport.
Mickelson has criticized the PGA Tour for being “greedy” and said he ignores reports of human rights abuses by the Saudi Arabian monarchy in order to win favor with the Tour.
ESPN Stats & Information says Mickelson is only the fourth golfer in the last 50 years who has decided not to defend his major championship next year.
The last was Rory McIlroy in 2015. He had to miss The Open after injuring his ankle playing soccer just before the tournament. Woods won the PGA Championship in 2006 and 2007. He did not play in 2008 while recovering from knee surgery. Payne Stewart, who won the US Open in 1999, died in a plane crash in October 1999.