For the first time since 1990, Phil Mickelson will not compete in the Waste Management Phoenix Open, which he has won 3 times
Ended: A 28-year streak of playing in the PGA Tour’s annual stop in Phoenix by Phil Mickelson, who instead will play the Saudi International in the same Jan. 30-Feb. 2 time slot, the Saudi Gazette reported. Mickelson, 49, a three-time winner of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, has played the Arizona event every year dating to 1991, when he was a student at Arizona State. He joined fellow American Tony Finau in committing to the European Tour event, which came under criticism during its debut last year amid American intelligence reports that the Saudi regime was linked to U.S.-based Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s slaying in 2018. The field also includes Americans Brooks Koepka and defending champion Dustin Johnson, who are ranked Nos. 1 and 4 in the world, respectively, and fellow major champions Sergio Garcia of Spain, Shane Lowry of Ireland, Patrick Reed of the U.S. and Henrik Stenson of Sweden. Middle East events typically pay appearance fees, which are prohibited on the PGA Tour, to attract elite players.