PHIL MICKELSON is a three-time winner at Augusta and a popular figure on Tour.
Lefty, 51, last won The Masters in 2010 and added a sixth Major title to his trophy cabinet with the PGA Championship last year.
But golf fans who were looking forward to see him compete once again at Augusta next month will be disappointed.
Why is Phil Mickelson not playing at The Masters?
Mickelson has been part of the furniture at The Masters and hasn’t missed the tournament since 1994.
His three wins 2004, 2006 and 2010 made him a firm fan’s favorite and he’s appeared for Team US twelve times at the Ryder Cup.
In February 2022, an interview emerged of Mickelson admitting he was using the planned Saudi Golf League as leverage against the PGA Tour.
Excerpts from an unauthorized biography claimed that the golfer called the Saudis ‘scary‘ but was willing to overlook their human rights record in a bid to force change within the Tour.
Saudi Arabia’s government has denied accusations of human rights abuses.
Mickelson was slammed for the comments and lost a number of sponsors including Amstel and KPMG.
As a result of the backlash, the six-time Major winner announced he would be taking a break from golf to be with his family.
The extended hiatus has seen him miss the Player’s Championship and will include The Masters on April 7.
In his February statement, Mickelson said: “The past 10 years I have felt the pressure and stress slowly affecting me at a deeper level.
“I know I have not been my best and desperately need some time away to prioritize the ones I love most and work on being the man I want to be.”
Before the start of the Player’s at Sawgrass earlier this month, PGA Tour chief Jay Monahan was asked about Mickelson’s future.
He said: “[Mickelson] has said that he’s stepping away and he wants time for reflection – that’s something that I and we are going to respect and honor.
“When he’s ready to come back to the PGA Tour, we’re going to have that conversation. That’s a conversation I look forward to.
“I have not talked to Phil since he made his comments and since he said that he was stepping away.
“I think the ball is in his court. I would welcome a phone call from him.
“But it’s hard for me to talk about the different scenarios that could play out.”
On The Masters official website, Mickelson is listed as a ‘past champion who will not compete’.