Phil Mickelson enters Saudi International, ending 30-year Phoenix Open run

Five-time Major Champion Phil Mickelson will end a 30-year association with the Phoenix Open next month and instead tee it up at the second edition of the Saudi International powered by SoftBank Investment Advisers, which gets under way at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club from Jan 30 to Feb 2.

Mickelson is a three-times winner in Phoenix and began his affair with the event back in his college golf days when he went to Arizona State University in Tempe.

World Class Field

After turning professional in 1992 he played in every edition since but that will come to an end in 2020 having been lured to join an already world-class field in Saudi Arabia which includes defending Champion Dustin Johnson, World No. 1 Brooks Koepka and 2018 Masters winner Patrick Reed.

Stiff Competition

They will also face stiff competition from a host of European Major winners, including Open Champions Henrik Stenson (2016) and Shane Lowry (2019), plus 2017 Masters winner Sergio Garcia.

Phil Mickelson in action at the 2014 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, the last time the American star came to the Middle East.

Mickelson, affectionately known as ‘Lefty’ and a winner of 51 worldwide titles, has enjoyed a number of high-profile finishes in the Middle East but, despite 10 career European Tour victories, is still in search of a maiden win in the region.

“I am really looking forward to playing in Saudi Arabia in January,” said Mickelson, who spent more than 25 years in the world’s top 50. “I watched Dustin win the title last year and thought the course looked like an interesting challenge.

“Having so many talented players on show also made it look like a much more established tournament than one in its inaugural year. I have enjoyed my previous visits to the Middle East and am looking forward to playing in a new country and doing my bit to grow the game in the Kingdom.” – Phil Mickelson

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