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Phil Mickelson withdraws from PGA Championship

The defending champion and oldest major winner ever will not compete at Southern Hills.

Phil Mickelson of The USA tees off the 14th hole during day three of the PIF Saudi International at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club on February 05, 2022 in Al Murooj, Saudi Arabia. Photo by Oisin Keniry/Getty Images

It seems almost so long ago in the history of news surrounding Phil Mickelson, but perhaps the win that endeared him the most to the public was his shocking win in the 2021 PGA Championship at Kiawah Island last year to become the oldest major winner at 50.

But with his recent self-inflicted crises dominating the headlines, Lefty has decided not to defend the Wanamaker Trophy next week at Southern Hills.

Mickelson’s comments regarding the new Saudi-backed LIV Golf tour were the catalyst to a massive public backlash, and his decision to take “time away” from golf has left many wondering if he’s actually serving a suspension. Discipline of players by the PGA Tour is not announced publicly.

Tour players that requested to play in the LIV Golf tour’s first event in London in June were blanket-denied permission by commissioner Jay Monahan earlier this week.

Mickelson already decided to skip The Masters in April, which he has often said is one of his favorite events in golf. While he has exemptions at all the majors which will last until he’s no longer able to be competitive, the question is when he’ll choose to get back on the course.

If he’s to play again, at some point he’ll need to have a press conference and discuss what he’s been doing since February. But that time is not now, and we’ll see if the six-time major winner chooses to enter the US Open (the only major he’s yet to win) or the Open Championship later this year.