We won’t be seeing Lefty making the turn at Amen Corner in April.
On Monday, Golf Digest confirmed that Phil Mickelson will not be playing at The Masters for the first time since 1994, making it the first time in 28 years that Mickelson will not be present at the course in Augusta, Georgia.
The 51 year old is a three-time Masters champion, and the defending PGA champion. On the Masters website, Mickelson is listed in the category “Past Champions Not Playing.”
While the news is disappointing for golf fans everywhere — Mickelson is a fan-favorite — it’s not surprising, following Mickelson’s February announcement that he would be taking some time away from golf.
Mickelson found himself in trouble after comments he made to Alan Shipnuck of the Fire Pit Collective went public in an excerpt from the upcoming book “Phil: The Rip-Roaring (and Unauthorized!) Biography of Golf’s Most Colorful Superstar.”
Mickelson was discussing the new Saudi Golf League on a phone call with Shipnuck in November, a league that will rival the PGA Tour. Mickelson has been rumored to be one of the players the Saudi League is going after, to which Mickelson responded by saying it gave him “leverage” over the PGA Tour.
“They’re scary motherf***ers to get involved with,” Mickelson said. “We know they killed [Washington Post reporter and U.S. resident Jamal] Khashoggi and have a horrible record on human rights. They execute people over there for being gay. Knowing all of this, why would I even consider it? Because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape how the PGA Tour operates. They’ve been able to get by with manipulative, coercive, strong-arm tactics because we, the players, had no recourse.”
“As nice a guy as [PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan] comes across as, unless you have leverage, he won’t do what’s right,” he continued. “And the Saudi money has finally given us that leverage. I’m not sure I even want [the SGL] to succeed, but just the idea of it is allowing us to get things done with the [PGA] Tour.”
Mickelson apologized for his comments, but longtime sponsor KPMG still cut ties with the six-time major winner.
“KPMG U.S. and Phil Mickelson have mutually agreed to end our sponsorship effective immediately. We wish him the best,” the company said in a statement.
The financial management company Workday, who Mickelson has worked with since 2017, also ended their business relationship with the six-time major champion.
“At this time, Workday and Phil Mickelson have mutually and amicably agreed to not renew our brand sponsorship that ends this March,” Workday said according to Golf Monthly. “We want to thank Phil for his great contributions as a Workday ambassador, both on and off the course. And we continue to wish him and his family all the best.”
In his apology, Mickelson said that his comments to Shipnuck were “off-the-record,” a claim which Shipnuck disputes.
“Although it doesn’t look this way now given my recent comments, my actions throughout this process have always been with the best interests of golf, my peers, sponsors and fans,” Mickelson wrote. “There is the problem of off-the-record comments being shared out of context and without my consent, but the bigger issue is that I used words that do not reflect my true feelings or intentions.”
“It was reckless, I offended people, and I am deeply sorry for my choice of words,” he continued. “I’m beyond disappointed and will make every effort to self-reflect and learn from this.”
“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.”
The Masters will be played from April 7 to April 10.
Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to email@example.com.