Phil Mickelson asks to play Saudi tourney, signs up for US Open

Though it was merely a procedural maneuver, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson on Monday registered for the PGA Championship to be played next month at Southern Hills in Tulsa.

Mickelson, too, has made a plan to allow himself to play in the first of the LIV Golf events fronted by Greg Norman.

Mickelson’s agent, Steve Loy, issued the issued the following statement: “Our client Phil Mickelson is officially registered to play in the PGA Championship as well as the US Open.

“We have also filed a request on his behalf for a release to play in the first LIV Golf Invitational in London, June 9-11. This request complies with the deadline of April 25 set forth by the PGA Tour to compete in a conflicting tour event.

“Phil currently has no concrete plans on when and where he will play. Any actions taken are in no way a reflection of a final decision made, but rather to keep all options open. “

Translation: We have no idea whether Mickelson is playing the PGA Championship, which he won last May at Kiawah Island at age 50 to become the oldest player ever to win a major championship, or the US Open in June at The Country Club in Brookline outside of Boston.

Mickelson
Phil Mickelson has taken a break from golf.
Getty Images

Mickelson hasn’t played since missing the cut at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in late January as he’s taken time away from the game after controversial comments he made about the PGA Tour and Norman’s rival Saudi-based league in what he contended was a private conversation with a reporter that were made public.

Mickelson was most notably absent at the Masters, which he’s won three times and had played every year at Augusta National since 1994. Masters chairman Fred Ridley insisted before the tournament that Mickelson had not been “uninvited ” to play in his 30th Masters, indicating that it was Mickelson who reached out to him to say he would not be playing.

The PGA Tour does not announce suspensions, so there’s no concrete evidence either way about whether he is or is not suspended, though it’s not believed he is.

There is word that 15 of the top 100 players are among the approximately 70 players who have already registered for the Norman-led LIV Golf event in London, which is the first in the series.

Because that LIV event in London conflicts with the RBC Canadian Open on June 9-12, PGA Tour players are required to be granted a release from the tour to compete in the LIV tournament.

Monday was the deadline for players to ask for a conflicting event release from the PGA Tour to play in the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational.

Tiger Woods waves to the fans.
Tiger Woods waves to the fans.
EPA

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan informed players after the PGA Championship last May that anyone who joined the Saudi-financed league would be suspended and potentially face a lifetime ban from the PGA Tour.

Woods, in the aftermath of making the cut at the Masters, his first tournament back after his grisly car crash in February 2021 that mangled his right leg and foot, announced that he plans to play the British Open in July at St. Andrews.

Woods did not say, however, whether he would play at the PGA or the US Open. He won the PGA the last time it was at Southern Hills and was a part of the 1999 US Ryder Cup victory over Europe at The Country Club in Brookline.

Until further notice, everyone must wait to see when and where both Woods and Mickelson will play next.

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