Phil Mickelson would not be playing at The Masters this year, signaling his first absence from the event for the first time in 28 years. This is coming after he announced at the end of February that he would be taking time off from the sport “to work on being the man I want to be.” Mickelson has played in every The Masters since 1994, winning it in 2004, 2006, and 2010.
The 51-year-old has been in the news in recent weeks in connection with the Saudi Golf League. Although Mickelson has said over and over again that he does not support the league, describing the Saudis as “scary”, he was formerly in support of another league that could rival the PGA Tour, a stance he has apologised for. He later said that his initial statement was to prompt the PGA to make changes as things were not the way they ought to be.
The last time we saw Mickelson play was at the Saudi International, in February, before the whole controversy started. From the looks of things, it may take a long time again before we see him on the golf course. It may not be surprising if he uses it as a pretext to retire from the sport.
Greg Norman, the commissioner of the proposed Saudi golf league, known formally as the LIV Golf Invitational, has said that Mickelson was free to play at events if he chose. Last week, it was announced that the new league would begin in June and would have eight events, spread over three continents. With a total prize fund of $225 million, the league is set to attract some top players. But the PGA Tour has warned of harsh measures against players who participate at any event of the new league.
Written by: Leon Osamor