Lefty admitted that he may have played in his final Phoenix Open after committing to the Saudi International next month
Mickelson Commits To Saudi International To End Phoenix Open Streak
Phil Mickelson has committed to the 2020 Saudi International, with the second playing of the tournament featuring a very strong field once again.
Lefty joins defending champion Dustin Johnson, World No.1 Brooks Koepka, Tony Finau, Shane Lowry, Patrick Reed, Henrik Stenson and Sergio Garcia in the field.
Garcia was disqualified this year for “serious misconduct” and will not be getting an appearance fee this time around.
Mickelson, an Arizona State University graduate, will miss the Waste Management Phoenix Open due to a clash with Saudi, meaning he will end his 30-year streak of teeing it up in Arizona.
He first played in the Phoenix Open in 1990 whilst still a student and has gone on to play in the tournament each and every year, winning it three times in 1996, 2005 and 2013.
The five-time Major winner was criticised on social media for committing to the Saudi International but said that he is “excited to go play and see a place in the world I’ve never been.”
“After turning down opportunities to go to the Middle East for many years, I’m excited to go play and see a place in the world I’ve never been. I understand those who are upset or disappointed. You’ll be ok. I’m excited to experience this for the first time,” he said.
He also tweeted that there is a “good chance” that he has played in his last Phoenix Open.
Speaking to the Saudi Gazette about his appearance in the tournament, Mickelson said, “I watched Dustin win the title last year and thought the course looked like an interesting challenge.
“Having so many talented players on show also made it look like a much more established tournament than one in its inaugural year.
“I have enjoyed my previous visits to the Middle East and am looking forward to playing in a new country and doing my bit to grow the game in the kingdom.”
The tournament takes place from 30th Jan-2nd Feb.
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