Phil Mickelson withdraws from the PGA Championship

Defending champion Phil Mickelson has withdrawn from next week’s PGA Championship at Southern Hills Country Club.

Last year ‘Lefty’ became the oldest man to win a Major title amid extraordinary scenes as thousands of fans swarmed on to the final fairway to witness the historic achievement. It was arguably one of the greatest ever moments the game has witnessed.

But he hasn’t played since February after apologising for comments regarding a proposed breakaway league, where he accused the PGA Tour of being “manipulative and coercive” before ironically going on to admit he was using the threat of a breakaway to “reshape” how the Tour operates, and also revealing he’d recruited three other players to the league and that he and other players paid attorneys to construct the proposed league’s operating agreement.

Last week he had been named in the 156-man field for golf’s second Major of the year, which takes place from 19-22 May.

“We have just been informed that Phil Mickelson has withdrawn from the PGA Championship,” tweeted the PGA of America.

“Phil is the defending champion and currently eligible to be a PGA Life Member and we would have welcomed him to participate. We wish Phil and [wife] Amy the very best and look forward to his return to golf.”

It will be the first time a defending champion has missed a Major since Rory McIlroy had to skip the 2015 Open at St. Andrews due to an ankle injury suffered while playing football.

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