Phil Mickelson has withdrawn from this week’s WGC-Cadillac Match Play citing personal reasons

Phil Mickelson withdraws from WGC

Phil Mickelson has withdrawn from this week’s WGC-Cadillac Match Play citing personal reasons.

Finland’s Mikko Ilonen will replace the American at the event, which takes place at Harding Park in San Francisco.

Mickelson is still committed to play in The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass and the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club, which both take place in May.

“I’m really happy with the new format and TPC Harding Park is a terrific setting for match play, so it’s unfortunate that I won’t be able to play this year,” Mickelson told the PGA Tour.

The 44-year-old would not elaborate further on his reasons for pulling out just three days before the start of the event.

He is yet to play since his fine display at Augusta, where he finished runner-up to Masters champion Jordan Spieth.

Rory McIlroy is top seed for the match play event, which was won by Australian Jason Day last year.

Ilonen, who won the Volvo World Match Play Championship last year, will now join the draw for the tournament, which takes place later today.

This year’s new format will assign the top seed for each of the 16 four-player groups based on the top 16 players in order of their position in the Official World Golf Ranking.

The remaining three players in each group will be determined by a blind draw from each of three pools depending on their standing in the OWGR (17-32, 33-48 and 49-64).

Each group will play round-robin matches within their group. The player with the best record in each group advances to the last 16 for single-elimination match play.

“We are excited about the 64 players who are coming to the Bay Area for the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Match Play,” said Tom Clark, executive director.

“The format is going to make for some of the most exciting golf of the season at a tremendous venue in an area that loves golf.”