‘We Miss Him Being Out Here’ – Woods On Mickelson

The 15-time Major winner has expressed his disappointment at the reigning PGA Champion's absence at Southern Hills

Tiger Woods speaks to the press before the 2022 PGA Championship
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Tiger Woods has said he's disappointed that Phil Mickelson won't be at Southern Hills to defend his PGA Championship trophy this week. 

Mickelson will be conspicuous by his absence from the second Major of the year when play gets under way on Thursday, one of several big names missing the event. The American become the oldest player to win a Major when he took the PGA Championship title last year, aged 50. However, he hasn’t played since February after issuing a statement apologising for comments he made in relation to the PGA Tour and Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series, and has withdrawn from this week's event.

Speaking ahead of the tournament, Woods explained why it won’t quite be the same without Mickelson. He said: “It’s always disappointing when the defending champion is not here. Phil has said some things that I think a lot of us who are committed to the Tour and committed to the legacy of the Tour have pushed back against, and he's taken some personal time, and we all understand that. But I think that some of his views on how the Tour could be run, should be run, been a lot of disagreement there. But as we all know, as a professional, we miss him being out here.”

Those views echo Rory McIlroy’s who, earlier in the day, expressed his disappointment that Mickelson would be absent from this year’s tournament, saying 'he should be here.'  However, despite Woods' disappointment, he revealed he hadn't contacted the six-time Major winner about his absence from the game, citing differing viewpoints on how the PGA Tour should be run as his reason for not contacting Mickelson. 

He said: “I have not reached out to him. I have not spoken to him. A lot of it has not to do with I think personal issues. It was our viewpoints of how the Tour should be run and could be run, and what players are playing for and how we are playing for it. I have a completely different stance on, and so no, I have not. I don't know what he's going through. But I know the comments he made about the Tour and the way that it should be run, it could be run, it could be run differently and all the different financials that could have happened, I just have a very different opinion on that. And so no, I have not reached out to him."

Woods will be making his first appearance since last month's Masters  when he tees it up this week. The 46-year-old returned to competitive action at Augusta National following 14 months out after suffering leg injuries in a car crash. 

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Mike Hall
Mike Hall

Mike has 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on sports such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the sport’s most newsworthy stories. Originally from East Yorkshire, Mike now resides in Canada, where the nearest course is less than a mile from his home. It’s there where he remains confident that, one of these days, he’ll play the 17th without finding the water. Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.