Phil Mickelson has withdrawn from the 2022 PGA Championship, and he won't defend the title he won a year ago on Kiawah Island.
The PGA of America made the announcement on Friday afternoon, just days before championship week, sharing that the 51-year-old has withdrawn from the field which will begin play on Thursday at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla.
"We have just been informed that Phil Mickelson has withdrawn from the PGA Championship," said the PGA of America in its statement. "Phil is the defending champion and currently eligible to be a PGA Life Member and we would have welcomed him to participate. We wish Phil and [Phil's wife] Amy the very best and look forward to his return to golf."
Mickelson has not yet released a statement acknowledging the withdrawal.
The PGA of America released its statement on the field change likely to head off speculation that the organization, which manages and runs the PGA Championship, asked Mickelson not to compete or told him he was not welcome to defend his title. Mickelson's win last year at the Ocean Course marked his sixth major title and broke a 53-year record to become the oldest major champion in golf history.
Mickelson has been on a personal leave of absence from golf since February, after comments made to journalist Alan Shipnuck for a forthcoming book -- set to be released during PGA Championship week -- were released. In those comments, as well as those made separately to journalist John Huggan, painted a clearer picture of Mickelson's involvement in developing and recruiting players to what has become known as LIV Golf. Mickelson discussed his behind-the-scenes work to draw up the organization's operating documents and policies, while dismissing concerns over the concepts Saudi backers.