From the Rough

Golf without discretion

Mickelson set to skip Accenture Match Play Championship

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Lost amongst Phil Mickelson’s Tuesday presser conference that centered around his opening comments on Tiger Woods and his absence from the game of golf was another tidbit that’s worth mentioning — especially given the fact that Mickelson is now the tour’s prized asset until the world’s number one player returns.

Mickelson announced amid a packed press room that he’ll be skipping the Accenture Match Play in Tuscon, Arizona, later this year to spend more time with his family.

We had a couple of procedures scheduled for this off-season that got postponed for various reasons, and we had to move it into March, and this affected some of our family trips. So how this is playing out is the week of the Tucson Match Play is a week that my kids are out of school and that I’m going to end up skipping this year, not because I want to. I think it’s a wonderful tournament, I love the Match Play, I love Tucson. But it was the best week for us to have a family vacation that we had to reschedule because, again, of our procedures.

I expect this to kind of happen a little bit throughout the year, maybe missing tournaments I would like to play or normally would play. But later on in the year I’ll probably add a tournament that I hadn’t originally planned on playing to kind of offset it. So I just wanted to — that just came about in the last couple of weeks.

In all honesty, I don’t blame him for skipping the event to spend time with his family. We all know what a difficult 2009 it was for Mickelson with his wife and mother both being diagnosed with cancer. However, if there was a worse time to skip a major event and hint at the idea of this happening a couple more times this year, I’d like know.

Tiger’s absence has left a huge burden on Mickelson at a time when he obviously has a laundry list of other things that are far more important at the moment. Golf World’s Tim Rosaforte mentioned in a recent column that Mickelson was absolutely bursting at the seams to get the season underway, so you know he’ll be playing as much as humanly possible this season to make the most of what some say was his most grueling off-season practice regimen of his golfing career.

So far, Mickelson will play the next three weeks; skip the Accenture Match Play; go to the Waste Management Open in Phoenix; take a week off and then play the World Golf Championship CA Championship at Doral. And while that leaves a lot of room for Mickelson face-time on television, there’s still that sinking feeling that he may not be able to carry to the tour’s expectations by himself. And that’s ok.

At this point Mickelson needs to look after number one, and everything else will fall into place. But if there was ever a time when the tour needed Phil to play as many tournaments as possible, this would most definitely be the year.


Written by Jonathan Wall

01/27/2010 at 9:08 pm

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