The 51-year-old Mickelson, who stunned the golf world by becoming the oldest major winner in the sport’s history at last year’s PGA Championship, hasn’t played on the PGA Tour since missing the cut at the Farmers Insurance Open in late January. His most recent competitive appearance was at the Saudi International, an Asian Tour event at which he finished tied for 18th in early February.
Later that month, Mickelson received widespread criticism over his support of a breakaway circuit financed by the Saudi Arabian government that would eventually be unveiled as the LIV Golf Invitational Series.
In November, Mickelson told unofficial biographer Alan Shipnuck that he and three other unnamed “top players” paid for attorneys to write the operating agreement for the new league. The six-time major winner also told Shipnuck that he was willing to overlook Saudi Arabia’s human rights record to get the new league off the ground.
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“They’re scary motherf—–s to get involved with,” Mickelson said. “We know they were killed [Washington Post columnist 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 lost a number of sponsorships after his comments and has not played since then. He missed the Masters — a tournament he’s won three times — for the first time since 1994.
Mickelson’s longtime manager, Steve Loy, said Monday that the golfer had signed up for the US Open, set for mid-June in Brookline, Mass., and the PGA Championship. Loy also revealed that Mickelson had requested a release from the PGA Tour to play at a LIV Golf event near London in early June.
However, Mickelson’s participation in any of those events remains uncertain, according to his manager.
“Phil currently has no concrete plans on when and where he will play,” Loy said in a statement. “Any actions taken are in no way a reflection of a final decision made, but rather to keep all options open.”
Woods, 46, most recently played in this year’s Masters, his first tournament since suffering significant injuries in a February 2021 car crash. He made the cut and finished 47th, saying afterward that he considered his return from injury to be one of his greatest achievements as a golfer.
As far as competing in the next major on the golf calendar, Woods said after the Masters, “I don’t know if I’ll play Southern Hills or not.”
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“I won’t be playing a full schedule ever again,” he added. Those hoping to see Woods at the PGA Championship could take some hope from the fact that he went on to assert, “It will be just the big events.”
Woods has won the PGA Championship four times, most recently in 2007 when the tournament was last held at Southern Hills. He tied the course record with a second-round 63 and defeated Woody Austin by two strokes to win the Wanamaker Trophy.
As former winners — Mickelson also triumphed in the event in 2005 — the two have lifetime invitations to play in the PGA Championship.
Southern Hills is the only course to host the PGA Championship four times. This year’s PGA Championship originally was supposed to be held at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, NJ, but was moved to Southern Hills in January 2021 after the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol. At the time, the PGA of America said holding the tournament at a Donald Trump-owned club would be “would be detrimental to the PGA of America brand.”
This year’s tournament starts May 19.