The six-time major champion Phil Mickelson is reportedly skipping the Masters next month. It will be his first absence from the renowned tournament since 1994. Mickelson offered a lengthy fault on February 22nd. He addressed heated statements made in a book interview about plans for a Saudi-backed golf league aimed at competing with the PGA Tour.
The 51-year-old apologized at the end of February for statements he made. He claimed that they were made off the record. A claim was rejected by the writer who interviewed him and disseminated out of context and without his authorization. The Saudi-backed golf league is a proposed endeavor aimed at luring golfers away from the sport’s two major tours. It was the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour, with lucrative financial incentives.
Phil Mickelson has been dogged by controversy following his PGA Tour criticism and remarks regarding the Saudi government speaking with author Alan Shipnuck about the Saudi Golf League. Mickelson apologized for his remarks, saying he needs to prioritize the ones he loves most and focus on being the guy he wants to be.
The American quoted as adding that “Saudi money has now given us (players) that leverage” to amend the PGA’s rules.
Mickelson was described by Shipnuck as criticizing Saudi Arabia’s human rights record. He claimed that the regime murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Mickelson apologized for his reckless remarks and announced that he will be retiring from golf. Since Mickelson’s statements, a number of high-profile golfers, including Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, and Bryson DeChambeau, have reaffirmed their commitment to the PGA Tour, while Mickelson has also lost a number of sponsors.
“The past 10 years I have felt the pressure and stress slowly affecting me at a deeper level,” the 51-year-old said, “I know I have not been my best and desperately need some time away to prioritize the ones I love most and work on being the man I want to be.”
“He stepped away on his own accord, and he’s asked for time,” PGA tour commissioner Monahan said. “He’s been given that time. We don’t comment on disciplinary matters, potential matters, or actual matters. But every player is accountable for their actions out here.”
Mickelson was also unable to compete in the 1994 Masters. He’d previously made appearances in 1991 and 1993. In 1995, they played in the same field for the first time at the Masters. Neither would miss a Masters appearance until Woods was unable to compete in 2014.