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Defending Champion Phil Mickelson Withdraws from PGA Championship

The PGA Championship is coming back to Tulsa next week, and one of the favorites to win the tournament won’t even be taking part. The defending champion Phil Mickelson has withdrawn from the PGA Championship, prolonging his three-month absence from competitive golf. Mickelson took a break from golf after criticizing Saudi Arabia's regime and hasn’t played a game since February. He was expected to defend his title at the PGA Championship, but the PGA of America released a statement announcing his withdrawal on Friday. "We have just been informed that Phil Mickelson has withdrawn from the PGA Championship. Phil is the defending champion and currently eligible to be a PGA Life Member and we would have welcomed him to participate," reads the statement. This marks the first time since 1994 that Mickelson is skipping the Masters, and he has six major championships under his belt. He won the PGA Championship for the second time last year, becoming the oldest major championship winner in history at the age of 50 years, 11 months, and 7 days old. The 2022 PGA Championship will take place at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma between May 19 and May 22. Jon Rahm is the favorite to win the title, with Scottie Scheffler and Rory McIlroy trailing right behind.