McIlroy: Mickelson missing PGA Championship 'unfortunate, sad'

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Rory McIlroy described news that Phil Mickelson won't defend his title at the PGA Championship this week as "unfortunate, sad," according to Golf Digest's Joel Beall.

"This should be a celebration, right? He won a major championship at 50 years old," McIlroy said. "It was possibly his last big, big moment in the game of golf. … I think he should be here this week and celebrating what a monumental achievement he achieved last year."

The PGA Championship announced Friday that Mickelson wouldn't make the trip to Southern Hills after withdrawing from the event.

Mickelson hasn't played in a TOUR event since late January. In February, he announced he'd take some time away following comments he made regarding the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series.

In late April, Mickelson requested a release to play in the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational this June. The TOUR denied members' requests to participate in the event May 10.

Mickelson won the PGA Championship by two strokes over Brooks Koepka and Louis Oosthuizen in 2021.

McIlroy: Mickelson missing PGA Championship 'unfortunate, sad'
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