Phil Mickelson decides not to defend title at PGA Championship

Phil Mickelson gives a thumbs-up
Phil Mickelson speaks after winning the PGA Championship golf tournament on the Ocean Course in Kiawah Island, S.C. on May 23, 2021.
(David J. Phillip / Associated Press)

Phil Mickelson withdrew Friday from the PGA Championship, electing to extend his hiatus from golf following his incendiary comments about a Saudi-funded rival league he supports and the PGA Tour he accused of greed.

Mickelson made history in the PGA last year when he won at Kiawah Island at age 50, making him the oldest champion in 161 years of the majors.

He has not played since Feb. 6 at the Saudi International and has been out of public view.


A new book on six-time major winner Phil Mickelson says government auditors found his gambling losses totaled more than $40 million over a four-year period.

Mickelson met the deadline to sign up for the PGA Championship on April 25, though his manager said Mickelson was unsure about playing but wanted to keep his options open.

The PGA of America announced his decision on social media.

Mickelson is only the third PGA champion not to defend his title in the last 75 years. Tiger Woods missed in 2008 while recovering from reconstructive knee surgery, and Ben Hogan couldn’t play in 1949 while recovering from his car getting struck by a bus.