Augusta National told Phil Mickelson not to play Masters

Because the Masters is run by Augusta National and not the PGA Tour, he has the ability to invite – or uninvite – whoever he wants.Getty Images

Phil Mickelson earlier this week was shown not to be in the field for the Masters, which begins April 7, and Augusta National officials “told him or strongly encouraged him not to come”, according to sources cited by PALM’s Craig Dolch. BEACH POST. The “last thing they want” is for Mickelson “to walk down Magnolia Lane knowing the circus that came with him”. The PGA Tour “will never admit it”, but the sources said Mickelson “has been suspended from the tour for his ‘obnoxiously greedy’ comments and for admitting he helped a rival tour gain traction”. Dolch: “Otherwise why would he miss the Players, with the biggest purse for an American golf tournament?” The Masters, meanwhile, because it’s run by Augusta National and not the PGA Tour, has the “ability to invite — or uninvite — whoever it wants” (PALM BEACH POST, 3/23). Golf Channel’s Jaime Diaz said there were “practical reasons Phil wouldn’t come”, one being that he “would be a distraction” from the tournament. Diaz: “Certainly, I think the Masters is glad he’s not going and it’s good for him to show some contrition towards the PGA Tour for not playing so soon” (“Golf Central,” Golf Channel, 3/22).

A VERY BIG DEAL: ESPN’s Michael Wilbon called Mickelson not playing the Masters “shaken enough”. ESPN’s Tony Kornheiser said: “I can’t stress enough that Phil Mickelson won’t be at the Masters. It’s a huge deal. Wilbon: “It’s a blow to have this tournament without Phil Mickelson, who has won it three times. But again, it happened” (“PTI,” ESPN, 3/22). Golf Channel’s Eamon Lynch said it’s “not really surprising” that Mickelson isn’t in Augusta “given what’s going on.” ” (“Golf Now,” Golf Channel, 3/22). Tim Cowlishaw of the Dallas Morning News said Mickelson’s absence was a “big deal”. Cowlishaw: “It feels a lot more like a suspension.” ESPN’s Clinton Yates said that Mickelson is “not the person you want to be at the top of your tour right now” (“Around the Horn,” ESPN, 3/22).

WHAT ELSE COULD BE MISSING? Bob Harig of MORNING READ noted that it’s been just 10 months since the “triumphant scene at Kiawah Island”, where Mickelson was “engulfed by the masses as he attempted to play the 18th hole on the final day of the PGA Championship”. . Now there’s “another question looming: Could Mickelson skip his PGA Championship defense in Southern Hills?” It “seems unthinkable”, but “the Masters were also missing” (, 3/22).