Phil Mickelson To Miss Players Championship
The 2007 champion will not be appearing at TPC Sawgrass as his hiatus from the game continues
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Phil Mickelson has arguably been the most talked about golfer so far in 2022. This is despite not being seen on the golf course since the Saudi International (opens in new tab) at the start of February.
Now, it seems that fans around the world will have to wait a little longer to see the six-time Major champion in action, as his break, following recent controversial comments about the PGA Tour and Saudi Arabia (opens in new tab), continues.
The Players Championship is the PGA Tour's flagship event, with 48 of the world's top-50 featuring at TPC Sawgrass where there is also a $20 million tournament purse up for grabs, making the event the richest tournament in golf. (opens in new tab)
When Mickelson announced his break from the game (opens in new tab), there had been guesses as to which tournament the 51-year-old would return to. The Players was indeed one that caught the attention of fans. However, on Friday afternoon, the PGA Tour released the official field for its flagship event and Mickelson was not listed.
With the 51-year-old not featuring, it seems that his next appearance will be coming at Augusta National (opens in new tab), the Masters, an event he has won three times.
One source that also believes Lefty will return at the iconic venue is Alan Shipnuck, the author of the upcoming book: ‘Phil: The Rip-Roaring (and Unauthorized!) Biography of Golf’s Most Colorful Superstar’ (opens in new tab).
In a Q+A with Fire Pit Collective (opens in new tab), Shipnuck answered an array of Mickelson-based Twitter questions that had been put to him by users. In one response, the author and journalist, who also revealed Mickelson's controversial comments, gave a pretty clear idea of when he thinks Mickelson will be back, replying: "Yes, I think (the Masters) will be his first tournament back, an eerie throwback to Tiger Woods in 2010."
He went on to add "Augusta National (opens in new tab)is the perfect place for a golfer engulfed in scandal to return to public life. It’s a highly controlled environment, with members of the print media forced to be on their best behaviour and the broadcasters compelled to speak in feel-good pablum.
"Mickelson can hide out in the champions’ locker room as much as he needs. It’s also a course and a club that Phil loves and where he feels comfortable. I think he will get a rapturous reception (provided he doesn’t enlist with the Saudis between now and then).
"Sports fans love a comeback and a redemption story. In recent years Mickelson had become something of a cartoon character, preening about his calves and “hellacious seeds” and all that jazz. A more humble and human Phil will be wildly popular."
Although Mickelson won't be featuring at The Players Championship, one name that is on the list for the PGA Tour's flagship event is Bryson DeChambeau.
The American, who had been planning on defending his title at the Arnold Palmer Invitational before withdrawing (opens in new tab), has continued to be plagued by injury problems throughout 2022.
In a Instagram video, DeChambeau stated: “I feel like it’s too short a time for me to get back to playing 100% capacity. Right now I’m like 90% and I don’t want to go out there and hurt myself even more and not be 100% ready for the rest of the season. I don’t want to come back early and then have to take more time off.
“At this current point in time I’ve got to take another week off and I’m going to try and get back and play for The Players but as of right now I just can’t risk having it re-aggravate. This has been one of the hardest moments of my life because I’m not able to do much and although I can hit some golf balls, it’s not fully comfortable. It’s a bit frustrating, I want to get out there as soon as possible but it’s just not ready yet.”
Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.
Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.
Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?
Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°
Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°
Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°
Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW
Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°
Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
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