Sports

Phil Mickelson pulls out of major ahead of LIV Golf Invitational Series, Saudi Arabia, PGA Tour

Reigning champion Phil Mickelson withdrew from next week’s PGA Championship on Friday, the PGA of America announced.

The 51-year-old American left-hander became the oldest major winner in golf history last year when he won the PGA at Kiawah Island for his sixth career major title.

But he has not played since January after the February release of controversial comments supporting the Saudi-backed LIV Golf series that debuts next month.

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“We have just been informed that Phil Mickelson has withdrawn from the PGA Championship,” the PGA of America said in a statement.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

Only four players have ever not attempted to defend a men’s major championship; Art Wall at the 1960 Masters, Payne Stewart at the 2000 US Open, Tiger Woods at the 2008 PGA Championship and Rory McIlroy at the 2015 Open Championship.

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