PGA Championship director thirsts over a Phil Mickelson return

Phil Mickelson is slated to play in the PGA Championship.

Phil Mickelson is slated to play within the PGA Championship.
Image: Getty Images

A pair notable additions to subsequent week’s PGA Championship area might carry extra eyes to the sleepiest main in golf, as Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are each listed to play. The final time golf followers noticed Woods, he was limping round Augusta in his first return to aggressive golf since a automobile accident practically ended his profession. Mickelson, however, hasn’t performed in a match since his misguided rant concerning the Saudi golf league.

One would assume the 2 hottest golfers of the previous 20-25 years can be extra polarizing figures as a consequence of Mickelson’s problematic Saudi league feedback and latest revelations that he could be a degenerate gambler, and Woods’ previous rampant adultery. But followers write off these transgressions as mere character flaws.

Woods has already been forgiven for his very public, very messy private life, and now Mickelson is getting the identical regenerative spa therapy. Seth Waugh, who runs the most important cease, not too long ago went on the 5 Clubs podcast and didn’t hesitate sharing his emotions about bringing again Lefty. Waugh mentioned if Phil does play, the solely concern is holding a information convention early sufficient within the week to keep away from the match being overshadowed by a media circus..

“I hope what we can do is have that [the news conference] before the flag goes up,” Waugh mentioned.

“The idea is, if he does play, and if he’s able to and allowed to… he would certainly have to face the media. But I hope it’s Monday or Tuesday… What we’re trying to do is deliver a major championship, not a circus.”

What I discover attention-grabbing about that quote isn’t Waugh both selecting his phrases poorly or hinting that Mickelson may at the moment be suspended by the PGA, it’s that he’s attempting to “deliver a major championship, not a circus.”

The solely situation the place Mickelson’s return to the hyperlinks after an prolonged, maybe-not-self-imposed hiatus doesn’t devolve into Barnum & Bailey is that if Woods is in competition. That’s not unreasonable contemplating the crowds he drew on the Masters, it’s simply unlikely after how he appeared in April.

If you keep in mind, Augusta officers invited Mickelson to play, however he turned them down. At the time, I believed the choice to stay in exile was as a consequence of lingering disgrace and embarrassment from being an entitled blowhard who doesn’t give a shit about the place the cash comes from so long as it fuels his alleged playing dependancy.

Now, it seems to be like he merely didn’t wish to be in Woods’ appreciable shadow like he has been for many of his profession. Who is aware of? Perhaps Mickelson isn’t a petulant diva and actually desires to defend the most important championship he gained final yr at age 50. Or it might be that his unauthorized biography — which was penned by the identical reporter who broke the Saudi story — hasn’t dropped but, and he is aware of he’s solely bought a finite quantity of main alternatives left earlier than he’s canceled outright.

The PGA Championship, being held at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Oklahoma, kicks off per week from Thursday, however apparently the doorways might open as quickly as Monday or Tuesday if the match director has any say within the matter — and if Mickelson’s presser is certainly its opening act. 

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