Phil Mickelson won’t compete in 2022 Masters golf tournament for first time in nearly 30 years
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Phil Mickelson will not be competing in the 2022 Masters next month at Augusta National Golf Club, marking the first time he will be absent from the field in nearly 30 years.
Mickelson, 51, a three-time Masters champion, was removed from the list of competitors this year on the tournament website. He had been listed as an active participant until Monday when his name was included among past champions who won’t be playing in Augusta, Georgia.
Sports Illustrated’s Bob Harig first broke the news, and multiple reports confirmed that “Lefty” won’t be participating.
Mickelson has been at the center of controversy after he reportedly criticized the PGA Tour and backed a proposed golf league being financed by Saudi Arabians. Mickelson described the Saudis as “scary” but noted he could look past their history of human rights abuses if it meant a chance to change the PGA Tour.
He made the comments in an interview with author Alan Shipnuck, whose book, “Phil: The Rip-Roaring (and Unauthorized!) Biography of Golf’s Most Colorful Superstar” is scheduled for a May release. The Fire Pit Collective published Mickelson’s comments last month.
Mickelson later apologized and announced he would be taking a leave from the sport. He claimed his comments were off the record and were not meant to be shared publicly.
“There is the problem of off record comments being share out of context and without my consent,” Mickelson said in a February statement. “But the bigger issue is that I used words I sincerely regret that do not reflect my true feelings or intentions.”
Mickelson acknowledged his “reckless” comments but said he never meant to hurt anyone.
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“The past 10 years I have felt the pressure and stress slowly affecting me at a deeper level,” Mickelson added. “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.”
Mickelson hasn’t played since the Saudi International in early February following his hiatus from the sport. He skipped the Players Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, earlier this month.
Mickelson has made 29 starts at the Masters, and it will be his first time not competing in the tournament since 1994. He previously won the Masters in 2004, 2006 and 2010.
Tiger Woods is still listed as a participant in the tournament after he was injured in a February car crash last year. That could change as golfers have until tournament week to decide if they are playing, Sports Illustrated reported.
The event is scheduled to begin on April 7. Hideki Matsuyama is the defending champion.