(NEW YORK) — Phil Mickelson won’t be on the green when the 2022 Masters kicks off at Augusta National Golf Club next month.
Mickelson, a three-time Masters champion, was expected to play in the golf tournament but his name was moved to the list of “past champions not playing” on the Masters’ website Monday.
Had he participated, it would have been the 51-year-old’s 30th Masters start. Instead, his absence will mark the first time since 1994 that Mickelson hasn’t competed in Augusta, Georgia.
The news comes after Mickelson received backlash last month over comments he made supporting a Saudi Arabia-backed golf tour.
In the comments, which the pro golfer made to author Alan Shipnuck in November but were released in February, Mickelson expressed no reservations about working with the Saudis despite the 2018 murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, which a United Nations probe determined was a “premeditated execution” for which Saudi Arabia was responsible.
“They’re scary … to get involved with,” Mickelson told Shipnuck about working with the Saudis on the new league. “We know they killed Khashoggi and have a horrible record on human rights. They execute people over there for being gay. Knowing all of this, why would I even consider it? Because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape how the PGA Tour operates.”
Mickelson later apologized for his comments but not before they cost him one of his biggest sponsors, global tax firm KPMG.
Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.