Phil Mickelson’s absence from PGA Championship called ‘sad’ and ‘disappointing’


TULSA, Okla. — Phil Mickelson isn’t even in Southern Hills and is still the talk of Tulsa.

Hardly a player could escape the microphone Tuesday without addressing Mickelson’s decision to skip the PGA Championship after his inflammatory comments about a Saudi-funded rival league he supports in conflict with the PGA Tour.

Mickelson also skipped the Masters. But the PGA Championship feels like something even more important. It was supposed to be Lefty’s victory lap after his impressive win last year at age 50.

“Unfortunate. Sad,” said Rory McIlroy. “This should be a celebration, right? He won a major championship at age 50. It was possibly his last big, big moment in the game of golf. … I think he should be here tonight.” week and celebrate the monumental achievement you achieved last year.”

Jon Rahm called Mickelson a “good friend” who has done his best for himself.

“I can’t remember the last time a major champion didn’t defend a title,” Rahm said. “I would have liked to see him defend. … (But) he has to do what he has to do.”

Tiger Woods also called it “disappointing” not to have the defending champion tee off. He then started on the subject of events financed by Saudi Arabia.

“Phil has said some things that I think a lot of us who are committed to the tour and committed to the legacy of the tour have rejected, and he’s taken some personal time,” Woods said. “And we all understand that.”

However, not everyone was too wrapped up in the missing champion.

“Not here. There really isn’t much more I can say,” said two-time PGA champion Brooks Koepka, who was beaten by Mickelson in the final couple last year.

Justin Thomas wanted to focus on the week ahead.

“I really don’t have an opinion. I never wish bad on anyone. It’s just that I’m here to try to win a golf tournament and try to win the PGA Championship,” Thomas said.


A player’s putting coach is supposed to calm his nerves, not irritate them.

Koepka was an hour late for his news conference and practice round after coach Jeff Pierce locked his car keys with his golf bag inside the trunk of his courtesy car.

Koepka sounded more amused than upset.

“I saw him open the car, start it, then he grabbed the bag, put it in the trunk, closed the trunk, went in and grabbed a hat, got out and then the car was locked,” Koepka said. saying. “I don’t know how the keys got locked inside the car. freaks me out I didn’t think a car was supposed to do that, but apparently it does.”

Koepka briefly considered calling a shuttle, but there was no point because he would have to leave his clubs behind. He waited until a spare key arrived.

“I’m glad it didn’t happen on Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday,” he said.


Bryson DeChambeau practiced Tuesday to test out his surgically repaired left wrist. He has said that he will play this week if “there are no major problems”.

“I’m going to test how I feel in the next two days and decide if I compete,” he tweeted Monday. “I hope to be in Tulsa.”

He was in the field Tuesday afternoon, wearing a gown that extended several inches to his left forearm.

The 28-year-old underwent surgery to repair the hamate bone in his wrist on April 14, a procedure that was expected to sideline him for up to two months. He took off his cast and bandages more than a week ago, and teased an early return when he posted a video online of himself punching a driver.

DeChambeau missed the cut in three of his last four starts and has just one top-25 finish in five starts this season.


A trip to the concession stand for a cold one during a hot, sunny week may cause some fans to be shocked.

Beers are $18 or $19 at Southern Hills. Cocktails are $19.

Wine? That’s cheap at $13.

“$18(!!!!!!) for a beer…uhhhh what. I have to treat the fans better than that!” player Justin Thomas tweeted to his 539,000 followers on Monday.

“I was blown away because I’ve never seen an $18 or $19 beer in my life,” Thomas said Tuesday. “Guys have been talking about it, so I, you know, had to stand up for the fans. I felt like it was okay.”

Koepka noted that beer cans are quite large: 25 ounces, to be exact. So, you pay more, you get more.

“It’s bigger than the normal ones, so you’ll be fine,” Koepka said. “If you drink enough, you’ll be fine.”


Nine players on the PGA Championship course played the 2009 US Amateur at Southern Hills, including Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth, and all are hoping for better results in Perry Maxwell’s restored masterpiece this week.

Fowler, who turned pro later that summer, lost 3 and 1 in the first round of matches. Talor Gooch and Brian Harman also lost their opening matches, while Cameron Tringale was eliminated in the quarterfinals.

They survived at least two rounds of stroke play at Southern Hills and nearby Cedar Ridge Country Club.

Beau Hossler, an eighth grader at the time, did not make the cut. So did Tom Hoge. Patrick Reed came out of contention with an 83 at Southern Hills. Spieth did it at 75, shot 73 at Cedar Ridge, then lost in a 27-man playoff for the final four game spots.

Then there was Patrick Cantlay, who was asked Tuesday about his memories.

“I shot two rounds in the ’80s,” he said, “and went home early.”


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