Three-time Masters champion Phil Mickelson will not be part of the field at Augusta National in 2022. This absence marks the first time 'Lefty' will miss out on the tournament since 1994. Mickelson, 51, has been in the news for all the wrong reasons recently, most notably for making controversial comments regarding a new Saudi-backed golf league.
During a February interview with golf writer Alan Shipnuck, Mickelson expressed interest in joining the Super Golf League despite the Saudis being "scary mother (bleep)-ers" and their past history of human rights violations. These comments drew heavy criticism from notable current players such as Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas. The backlash also included Mickelson losing sponsorships with KPMG, Amstel Light, and Workday.
Additionally, Mickelson previously spoke out about considering other playing opportunities, citing the PGA Tour's "obnoxious greed" as the cause. The exact same tour that's netted Mickelson nearly $95 million for his playing career and an estimated $700 million in endorsements. Right.
According to reports from Golfweek, Augusta National, separate from the PGA Tour, "either told [Mickelson] or strongly encouraged him not to come". Golfweek also stated that -- while the PGA Tour will never admit to it -- Mickelson has been suspended due to his comments on the Tour and for drawing attention to a rival league.
Less than a year ago, Phil Mickelson was accomplishing another amazing feat on the course, becoming the oldest Major-winner in Tour history at the 2021 PGA Championship. Now, Mickelson's off-course antics are tainting his legacy and forcing him out of the largest tournaments to begin the season.
Mickelson last played back in late January at the Farmers Insurance Open, where he missed the cut after shooting rounds of 76 and 71.
The 2022 Masters begins on Thursday, April 7 in Augusta, Georgia, with Hideki Matsuyama as the defending champion.