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Tuesday, November 28, 2023

PGA of America CEO Suggests Phil Mickelson Was Suspended, Hoping to Avoid ‘Circus’ at Southern Hills

The PGA of America, which is the governing body for golf in North America and Great Britain, has suspended Phil Mickelson after a series of tweets criticising President Trump. The suspension will only last to this weekend’s event at Southern Hills Golf Course as they hope to avoid what would be an “unnecessary circus” given his impending disqualification.

The “phil mickelson news” is that the PGA of America CEO suggested Phil Mickelson was suspended, hoping to avoid a “circus” at Southern Hills.

It’s been more than three months since we’ve seen Phil Mickelson play in a golf competition, but it seems like the wait will be over next week at the PGA Championship at Southern Hills Country Club.

Mickelson, of course, is the defending champion, having stunned the world a year ago at Kiawah Island by becoming the oldest major victor in history at the age of 50.

In a normal year, there would surely be a lot of media attention paid to Lefty. Even though he has little chance of winning the PGA Championship for the third time, Phil Mickelson is still Phil Mickelson, and he draws attention.

But this isn’t a normal year, and if he shows up in Tulsa, as he’s anticipated to do after his name was added to the tournament’s official participants list, the media attention will be much more frantic than usual.

Mickelson found himself in deep water after making inflammatory statements and rumors that he was considering leaving the PGA Tour for the Saudi-backed LIV Golf league, causing a public relations disaster for the six-time major winner. That ill-fated “apology” didn’t improve things at all.

Many people believed Mickelson had been suspended by the PGA Tour because of his behavior. Phil skipped The Masters for the first time since 1994, adding fuel to the flames. Now, the guy in charge of the PGA Championship has added a bit more, implying that a suspension may have occurred.

The PGA Tour may have been halted, according to PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh. Mickelson, Phil

Phil Mickelson tees off the 14th hole during day three of the PIF Saudi International at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club on February 05, 2022 | Oisin Keniry/Getty Images

The PGA of America and the PGA Tour are not the same organization, for those who are unaware. I’m sure most of you already knew that, but I wanted to get it out of the way first.

The PGA of America, which organizes the PGA Championship, clearly wants things to go well at Southern Hills. This contains all media appearances by the players. Naturally, some news conferences are more important than others, and Mickelson’s is undoubtedly one of the most important.

Given the circumstances this year, he may be even more of a draw than Tiger Woods, whose name was included on the official list of participants.

Seth Waugh, CEO of the PGA of America, is aware of this and wants to get it out of the way immediately so that the emphasis can be on golf rather than the “circus” around Phil. But, as he explained on the 5 Clubs podcast, he speculated that Mickelson could have required permission to play in the season’s second major.

“I’m hoping we can do that [news conference] before the flag is raised.” If he does play, and if he is able and permitted to, he will very probably have to deal with the media. But I’m hoping for Monday or Tuesday… We’re attempting to produce a significant championship, not a circus.”

Seth Waugh, CEO of the PGA of America, on Phil Mickelson

If he’s capable and permitted?

Although the PGA of America and the PGA Tour are independent governing organizations, Waugh and PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan are said to be close, so Waugh may know something the rest of us don’t.

The most probable possibility is that he, like the rest of us, has no knowledge and was just guessing. The PGA Tour has never been one to make penalties and/or sanctions public.

Whether Mickelson was banned or not now seems to be immaterial. It’s still fascinating, but it’s ultimately immaterial since, if he’s been suspended, it looks to be finished. However, the problem as a whole is far from ended, since Phil was just refused admittance to the forthcoming LIV Golf tournament in London.

So Waugh has to be ready when the PGA Championship begins. Because Tulsa is getting a circus.

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