Phil Mickelson Out at Augusta

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    Today, the golfing world was shocked upon learning that Phil Mickelson is not competing in this year’s Masters. While Mickelson has been embroiled in quite a bit of controversy over the past two months or so, and has said that he was going to “take a break” from the game, I think we all expected Phil to still compete in the tournament he won three times in, and also where he won his first major. Phil was hit hard by the media, many fans, and even a few golfing peers following his comments regarding the Saudi Arabia backed ‘Super Golf League’. In February, Mickelson stated in an interview with Alan Shipnuck, that his dealings with the league was largely motivated by his desire to pressure the PGA Tour into altering their policy concerning the media rights for players. Mickelson also explained in the interview that he was fully aware of Saudi Arabia’s questionable human rights record, but that it was still worth it to deal with them if it meant getting what he wanted done from the PGA. These comments did not go over very well with many people in the golfing world, and Mickelson was largely ostracized as a result, even losing a number of longtime major sponsorships. Not long after, Mickelson announced he was stepping away from golf to better deal with these controversies. I think we all expected Phil to make Augusta his return to the tour, and the fact that that is not happening is concerning to say the least. Obviously this means that Phil is either committed to the Super Golf League or he is simply not ready to step back into the spotlight on the tour. Either way, Phil plays Augusta so well, and it is a course for which he can still contend on at his age. If there is one major Phil has a great chance of winning over the age of 50, it would be the Masters. Phil is a staple at Augusta, and his absence, along with Tiger’s will prove to be a major blow for the tournament’s ratings. Phil is also the reigning PGA Champion, and that only adds to the disappointment. All of this leaves many questions, and I am hoping Phil’s representatives can leave us with some explanation.

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