Phil Mickelson to miss first Masters in 28 years as Saudi fall-out continues

Three-time champion Phil Mickelson will be absent from Augusta for the first time in nearly three decades.

Phil Mickelson will miss the Masters for the first time in 28 years as the fall-out from his comments on the Saudi-backed golf league continued.

The 51-year-old has been listed as a "past champion not playing" on the Masters website.

He has not played since the Saudi international in February, and his absence from the Masters will be the first Augusta National event he has missed since 1994, with him winning it three times.

Mickelson is the highest profile player to have backed the proposed Saudi Golf League, although his comments on it caused controversy.

"They're scary motherf****** to get involved with," Mickelson said of the Saudi Arabian government in an excerpt from an upcoming biography of the golf legend published on the website Fire Pit Collective.

"We know they killed [Washington Post reporter and U.S. resident Jamal] Khashoggi and have a horrible record on human rights. They execute people over there for being gay.

"Knowing all of this, why would I even consider it? Because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape how the PGA Tour operates.

"The Saudi money has finally given us that leverage. I'm not sure I even want [the SGL] to succeed, but just the idea of it is allowing us to get things done with the [PGA] Tour."

Mickelson has since claimed his comments were made off the record and taken out of context, but author Alan Shipnuk has branded that "completely false."

He has also lost some key sponsorship deals over the comments.

"The past 10 years I have felt the pressure and stress slowly affecting me at a deeper level," Mickelson said on his sabbatical from golf.

"I know I have not been my best and desperately need some time away to prioritize the ones I love most and work on being the man I want to be."

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