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Phil Mickelson Registers for Three Events

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Phil Mickelson looks on during the second round of The PLAYERS Championship at TPC Sawgrass on March 15, 2019. | Image by Mike Ehrmann, Getty Images

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Phil Mickelson has registered to play at next month’s PGA Championship and the U.S. Open in June. His agent also asked the PGA Tour for permission to play in a Saudi-funded golf tournament outside London in June.

Registering does not necessarily mean a player will participate in a tournament. However, Monday, April 25 was the deadline to register for the PGA Championship to be played May 19-22 and the deadline to ask for permission to play in the inaugural Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational on June 9-11 in England. The U.S. Open will be played on June 16-19.

“Phil currently has no concrete plans on when and where he will play,” Mickelson’s longtime agent, Steve Loy of Sportfive, said. “Any actions taken are in no way a reflection of a final decision made, but rather to keep all options open.”

Phil Mickelson is the defending champion at the PGA Championship, winning last year at age 50 to become the oldest major champion. He has not played an official PGA Tour event since he missed the Farmers Insurance Open cut in late January and skipped the Masters. Mickelson, a three-time Masters champion, had played in every Masters tournament since 1994.

He has not played in any golf tournament since the Saudi International on February 6.

The announcement that he registered for these competitions is the first word from Mickelson’s camp since February 22, when he publicly apologized for comments publicized by Alan Shipnuck. The comments came from an excerpt of an unauthorized autobiography of Mickelson written by Shipnuck, scheduled to be released next month.

In the excerpt, Phil Mickelson criticized the PGA Tour and said he was involved in creating a breakaway golf league being funded by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. Mickelson said he was recruiting other top players and helped pay the attorneys who wrote the proposed league’s operating agreement.

Mickelson continued by describing the Saudis as “scary mother[expletive]s to get involved with,” but said he was looking past their poor human rights record to gain leverage against the “obnoxious greed” of the PGA Tour.

“We know they killed [Washington Post reporter 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,” Mickelson told Shipnuck.

Mickelson’s comments drew widespread criticism, including from fellow PGA Tour professionals, leading him to apologize days later. The remarks also slowed momentum for the Saudi-backed league, with multiple top players expressing their commitment to the PGA Tour in the aftermath.

Mickelson lost several sponsorships, including Amstel Light, KPMG, and Workday. Callaway also paused its relationship with him.

Meanwhile, the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series announced eight tournaments this year, beginning with the LIV Golf Invitational in England on June 9-11, which Mickelson asked permission to play in. Since it conflicts with the PGA’s RBC Canadian Open in Ontario on June 9-12, PGA Tour players have to be granted a release from the tour to compete in the LIV tournament.

The final tournament of the LIV will be a team championship match-play at Trump National Doral in Miami, which is owned by former U.S. President Donald Trump, on October 27-30.

It will be the second tournament of the LIV Golf Series to be held at a Trump-owned golf course. Trump Bedminster in New Jersey is scheduled to hold a tournament for the Saudi-funded league during the last weekend in July.

It is still unclear what players will participate in the LIV tournaments.

Last May, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said that anyone who played a tournament for the Saudi-funded league would be suspended and potentially face a lifetime ban from the PGA Tour.

Note: This article was updated on April 28 at 11:36 a.m. to correct a factual error.

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Richard Brown
Richard Brown
5 months ago

Phil is the defending PGA champion, not the U.S. Open defending champion. The U.S. Open is the only major event Phil has not won.

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