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withdrawal Phil Mickelson's exile continues as he abandons USPGA Championship defence

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Phil Mickelson holds the Wanamaker Trophy last year

Phil Mickelson holds the Wanamaker Trophy last year

Phil Mickelson holds the Wanamaker Trophy last year

Phil Mickelson will not defend his title in next week’s US PGA Championship at Southern Hills, tournament organisers have announced.

Mickelson has been taking a break from golf since the fall-out from his explosive comments about the PGA Tour and the Saudi-backed breakaway spearheaded by Greg Norman.

The six-time major winner registered for the US PGA and next month’s US Open on March 25 and also requested a release from the PGA Tour to play the first LIV Golf Invitational Series event from June 9-11.

That request was denied by the PGA Tour earlier this week.

In a post on Twitter, the PGA of America wrote: “We have just been informed that Phil Mickelson has withdrawn from the PGA Championship.

“Phil is the defending champion and currently eligible to be a PGA Life Member and we would have welcomed him to participate.

“We wish Phil and Amy (his wife) the very best and look forward to his return to golf.”

Mickelson’s victory at Kiawah Island made him the oldest winner of a men’s major championship, his two-shot victory over Brooks Koepka and Louis Oosthuizen coming just a month before his 51st birthday.

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