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For the first time since 1994, the Masters is unlikely to feature Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson.
While Woods’ status remains up in the air following his near-fatal crash in February 2021, he is still listed as an eligible participant. As for Mickelson, Sports Illustrated’s Bob Harig reports that the three-time Masters champion has been removed as a participant in the 2022 Masters Tournament from Augusta National Golf Club scheduled for April 7-10. He is instead listed as a former champion who is not playing on the Masters website.
According to Harig’s report, the Masters only removes players from that section of the website upon request. Augusta National confirmed that the request was made.
Mickelson, 51, has been inactive on the PGA Tour since the Farmer’s Insurance Open in January after receiving backlash for his recent comments about possibly joining the upstart Super Golf League (SGL), backed by Saudi Arabia.
“They’re [Saudi Arabia] scary motherfuckers to get involved with,” Mickelson told author Alan Shipnuck. “We know they killed [Washington Post columnist Jamal] Khashoggi and have a horrible record on human rights. They execute people over there for being gay. Knowing all of this, why would I even consider it? Because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape how the PGA Tour operates.”
After the comments became public, his main sponsor, KPMG, ended its relationship with him. Fellow PGA Tour member Rory McIlroy called Mickelson’s comments “naive, selfish, egotistical, ignorant.”
Mickelson eventually apologized for the comments, releasing a statement via Twitter.
“I have made a lot of mistakes in my life and many have been shared with the public,” Mickelson wrote. “My intent was never to hurt anyone and I’m sorry to the people I have negatively impacted. This has always been about supporting the players and I appreciate all the people who have given me the benefit of doubt.”
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