Mickelson skipping Waste Management Open to play in Saudi Arabia
Ben Jared / PGA TOUR / Getty

Phil Mickelson is opting out of the Waste Management Open in order to play the European Tour's Saudi International tournament.

"I watched Dustin (Johnson) win the title last year and thought the course looked like an interesting challenge," Mickelson said in a statement, according to ESPN's Bob Harig. "Having so many talented players on show also made it look like a much more established tournament than one in its inaugural year. I have enjoyed my previous visits to the Middle East and am looking forward to playing in a new country and doing my bit to grow the game in the Kingdom."

The Waste Management Open, held at TPC Scottsdale in Arizona, draws more fans than any other PGA Tour event and has been a staple of Mickelson's schedule. Lefty's played in each edition of the event since 1990 and captured the title in 1996, 2005, and 2013.

The Saudi International runs the same weekend as the Waste Management Open, from Jan. 30 - Feb. 3. Mickelson will be joined by the likes of Brooks Koepka, Patrick Reed, Tony Finau, Henrik Stenson, and Sergio Garcia in the field.

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Mickelson skipping Waste Management Open to play in Saudi Arabia
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