Mickelson and Woods to compete in PGA Championship
Defending champion due for his first appearance on tour since January
Defending champion Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods are among the 156 players entered in the field for the 2022 PGA Championship at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The tournament begins on May 19.
For Mickelson, it would mark his first appearance on tour since the Farmers Insurance Open in January, where he missed the cut.
Earlier in 2022, Mickelson came under fire for remarks he made about the so-called Super Golf League, now the LIV Golf Invitational Series, backed by Saudi Arabian financiers.
He told author Alan Shipnuck that the Saudis were “scary [expletives] to get involved with” with a “horrible record on human rights”, but he intended to work with them anyway in an attempt to gain leverage with the PGA Tour on financial matters.
After issuing a mea culpa in February, losing multiple sponsors and saying he needed time away from the sport, Mickelson, 51, went silent and did not play in the Masters.
Woods, however, did play — his first tournament in more than a year after sustaining a devastating leg injury in a car accident in February 2021. He finished in 47th place, 13 over par for the tournament.
There is no guarantee, despite his entry, that Mickelson will play in the PGA Championship. He can pull out at the very last minute, if he chooses to.
Seth Waugh, CEO of the PGA of America, said on the “5 Clubs Conversations” podcast that he had talked to Mickelson.
“I think he’s trying to figure out when the right time is for him,” Waugh said. “I think the game is trying to figure out the right time for him, too. How long is enough? And is he ready mentally and physically to do it?”
Mickelson will have to face the media for the first time in months, and Waugh said the goal will be to do that as soon as possible to remove the distraction from the tournament.
“What we’re trying to do is deliver a Major championship, not a circus. And so I would hope that he can avoid that, and everybody can avoid that. And we’re taking golf shots instead of verbal gaffes once we get going,” Waugh said.
The PGA Championship field includes 17 PGA champions, 34 Major champions, three World Golf Hall of Fame members and four Ryder Cup captains.
It also features the top 70 players in the PGA Championship points standings up to the 2022 Wells Fargo Championship, which concluded on Sunday.
The PGA announced 155 of the entrants on Monday. As expected, the tournament has attracted a who’s who of today’s prominent players, starting with world No 1 Scottie Scheffler, who won the Masters in April.
Former champions Rory McIlroy (2012, 2014), Justin Thomas (2017), Brooks Koepka (2018, 2019) and Collin Morikawa (2020), all ranked in the top 20, will play.
South Africans taking part are Oliver Bekker, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Dean Burmester, Branden Grace, Justin Harding, Garrick Higgo, Shaun Norris, Louis Oosthuizen, Erik van der Merwe and Daniel van Tonder.
The final spot is reserved for the winner of the AT&T Byron Nelson (if not already qualified). That tournament begins on Thursday.
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