Phil Mickelson Won’t Play in 2022 Masters; Will Miss Event for 1st Time Since 1994

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Phil Mickelson will not be participating in this year’s Masters Tournament, an Augusta National official confirmed to CBS Sports’ Kyle Porter.

That comes after the event website had listed Mickelson among its “past champions not playing” on its list of 2022 invitees for April’s major.

Per ESPN’s Mark Schlabach, it will mark the first time since 1994 that Mickelson won’t participate in the tournament.

As Bob Harig of Sports Illustrated noted, “Mickelson has been the subject of considerable controversy lately due to his comments about the PGA Tour and his flirtations with a rival golf tour led by Greg Norman called the LIV Golf Invitational Series.”

In February, comments Mickelson made in November to Alan Shipnuck of The Fire Pit Collective caused an uproar. Talking about his reasons for aligning himself with the Saudi Golf League, Mickelson said he could overlook Saudi Arabia’s terrible record of human rights violations and sportswashing if it meant having more leverage over the PGA Tour:

“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. 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 later apologized for his remarks:

Brentley Romine @BrentleyGC

Phil Mickelson has released a statement surrounding recent comments about Saudi league, PGA Tour: “It was reckless, I offended people, and I am deeply sorry for my choice of words.” <a href=”https://t.co/oeg7JQPmfu”>pic.twitter.com/oeg7JQPmfu</a>

Rory McIlroy called Mickelson’s comments “naive, selfish, egotistical, ignorant,” adding that the situation was “just very surprising and disappointing, sad.”

McIlroy added in March that Mickelson deserved forgiveness.

“Look, we all make mistakes. We all say things we want to take back. No one is different in that regard,” he told reporters. “But we should be allowed to make mistakes, and we should be allowed to ask for forgiveness and for people to forgive us and move on. Hopefully, he comes back at some stage, and he will, and people will welcome him back and be glad that he is back.”

Mickelson last played at the Saudi International tournament on Feb. 6. He lost a number of sponsorship deals as a result of his comments, including KPMG and Workday, while Callaway paused its longtime relationship with the golfer.

“I have not talked to Phil since he made his comments and since he said that he was stepping away,” Monahan told reporters earlier in March. “I think the ball is in his court. I would welcome a phone call from him. But it’s hard for me to talk about the different scenarios that could play out.”

Monahan also declined to answer if Mickelson had been suspended by the PGA Tour after his remarks.

“He stepped away on his own accord, and he’s asked for time,” he said. “He’s been given that time. We don’t comment on disciplinary matters, potential matters or actual matters. But every player is accountable for their actions out here.”

As Harig noted, the Masters has its own criteria for selecting its participants, so any potential Mickelson suspension would be irrelevant. But it appears that Mickelson’s hiatus will be extending through this year’s Masters, and possibly beyond.

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