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Phil Mickelson will NOT be defending his US PGA Championship title.

The 51-year-old made history at Kiawah Island last year when he became the oldest men’s major champion in history.

However, in a brief statement, the PGA of America has announced that the six-time major-winner will not take his place in the field at Southern Hills next week.

“We have just been informed that Phil Mickelson has withdrawn from the PGA Championship,” said a tournament spokesperson. “Phil is the defending champion and currently eligible to be a PGA Life Member and we would have welcomed him to participate.”

• Where & when to watch the US PGA on TV

• US PGA Championship: Early betting guide

World No.58 Mickelson hasn’t made a competitive appearance since the Saudi International at the start of February where he finished in a tie for 18th.

Later that month, he announced he would be taking an indefinite leave of absence from the game following incendiary remarks he made about both the PGA Tour and the Saudi Arabian bankrollers of Greg Norman’s new start-up circuit, the LIV Golf Invitational Series.

Mickelson was widely condemned for accusing the PGA Tour of “obnoxious greed” and for branding the Saudis “scary motherf*****s to get involved with”.

In a subsequent statement, he apologised for his “reckless” choice of words. However, that was not enough to prevent him from losing a string of sponsors, Workday and KPMG amongst them.

• Bob MacIntyre reveals Rory McIlroy friendship

• Norman blasts PGA Tour over LIV releases

Last month, he missed The Masters for the first time since 1994 and will now miss the defence of the US PGA he won in such thrilling, record-breaking fashion a year ago.

That, in turn, will surely intensify that he will next peg it up competitively at the Centurion Club in Hertfordshire early next month when the LIV Golf Invitational Series stages its first event.

What do you make of Mickelson’s US PGA absence?

Join the conversation now on the bunkered Facebook page.


author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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