Phil Mickelson withdraws from Accenture Match Play

Phil Mickleson has opted out of the WGC Accenture Match Play Championship, preferring instead to go on holiday with his family

Phil Mickelson
(Image credit: Streeter Lecka)

Phil Mickelson, who made his 2012 debut last week at the Humana Challenge, has decided to forego the first World Golf Championship of the year.

The gregarious left-hander will miss the Accenture World Match Play Championship - contested between the 22nd - 26th February at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club at Dove Mountain - for the second time in three years.

Mickelson traditionally struggles in the only match play tournament on the PGA Tour roster. He has never made it past the quarter-final stage, and lost 6 and 5 in the second round last year to Rickie Fowler.

This year, the tournament clashes with his children's spring break, and Mickelson has decided to prioritise time with his family and go on holiday - hardly surprising, given his wife and mother's recent battles with breast cancer.

The field - comprised, in theory, of the top 64 players in the world - will now be extended to account for the absence of Mickelson and Englishman Paul Casey, who injured himself in a Snowboarding accident during the holiday period.

Alexander Noren, the talented young Swede, currently occupies 65th position in the Official World Golf Rankings and is set to benefit from Mickelson's absence. Others in with a chance to claim an unexpected place in the field include Sean O'Hair (67), who finished in a tie for second at the Sony Open in Hawaii, and Padraig Harrington (88), fresh off his first top ten of the season last week at the Volvo Golf Champions.

Nick Bonfield
Nick Bonfield

Nick Bonfield joined Golf Monthly in 2012 after graduating from Exeter University and earning an NCTJ-accredited journalism diploma from News Associates in Wimbledon. He is responsible for managing production of the magazine, sub-editing, commissioning and feature writing. Most of his online work is opinion-based and typically centres around the Majors and significant events in the global golfing calendar. Nick has been an avid golf fan since the age of ten and became obsessed with the professional game after watching Mike Weir and Shaun Micheel with The Masters and USPGA respectively in 2003. In his time with Golf Monthly, he's interviewed the likes of Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Jose Maria Olazabal, Henrik Stenson, Padraig Harrington, Lee Westwood and Billy Horschel and has ghost-written columns for Westwood, Wayne Riley, Matthew Southgate, Chris Wood and Eddie Pepperell. Nick is a 12-handicap golfer and his favourite courses include Old Head, Sunningdale New, Penha Longha, Valderrama and Bearwood Lakes. If you have a feature pitch for Nick, please email nick.bonfield@futurenet.com with 'Pitch' in the subject line. Nick is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade M1 Fairway wood: TaylorMade RBZ Stage 2 Hybrid: Ping Crossover Irons (4-9): Nike Vapor Speed Wedges: Cleveland CBX Full Face, 56˚, Titleist Vokey SM4, 60˚ Putter: testing in progress! Ball: TaylorMade TP5x