Why Phil Mickelson will miss the 2022 PGA Championship a year after winning major

Phil Mickelson’s absence from competitive golf continues. The reigning PGA Championship winner will not compete in this year’s event, the PGA of America announced Friday.

Mickelson stepped away from the game three months ago in the wake of controversial comments he made regarding the Saudi Arabia-based Super Golf League. He withdrew from the Masters in April.

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“We have just been informed that Phil Mickelson has withdrawn from the PGA Championship,” the PGA of America said in its statement. “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 [his wife] Amy the very best and look forward to his return to golf.”

Why Phil Mickelson will miss the 2022 PGA Championship

Mickelson’s absence from the PGA Championship extends an already-lengthy leave from competitive golf. Mickelson stepped away in February after Mickelson biographer Alan Shipnuck released incendiary comments the golfer made to him about the Saudi Arabian government and the PGA Tour.

Mickelson later apologized for the comments, saying in a statement he would be taking time off from golf to “work on the man I want to be.”

He is reportedly making progress.

“I think mentally Phil is probably in a really good space right now, to be honest with you,” Mickelson’s friend Charley Hoffman said, via ESPN. “I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t play. I don’t know if he wants to deal with [media]. He’s done it his whole life. I think he has enough respect for the game that he will play, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he didn’t. I don’t think he wants to deal with it.”

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How often do PGA Championship winners not defend their title?

Mickelson will become the second golfer to not try to defend his PGA Championship title. Tiger Woods missed the 2008 PGA Championship after winning in 2006 and 2007 as he recovered from knee surgery.

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