The most remarkable aspect of Phil Mickelson’s disappearance since announcing in February that he would be taking a break from golf in the aftermath of his heated comments regarding the upstart Saudi-backed golf league was the completeness with which he vanished from society. The general consensus was that he was hiding out in Montana (or was it Wyoming?) planning his next move, but no one knew for sure. Lefty had gone dark, according to Bryson DeChambeau and other pals, who were as intrigued as the rest of us as to what he was up to. Had he grown a man bun and a shaggy beard? Had he transformed into a coffee-drinking mountain man in shorts?
This week, though, provided the first indications hint that Mickelson is still alive and well and eyeing a comeback as a professional golfer. Mickelson’s longtime agent, Steve Loy, said on Monday that he had registered for next month’s PGA Championship, where he is the defending champion after becoming the oldest major winner at the age of 50 with his success at Kiawah Island last May. He also entered the U.S. Open in June and asked for a release from the PGA Tour to participate in the first LIV Golf Invitational outside of London in early June. However, Loy cautioned against making any assumptions about when Mickelson would return to competition: According to Loy’s statement, “Phil currently has no concrete plans on when and where he will play,”
However, on Wednesday, footage emerged of a real Mickelson sighting… on a golf course!
According to the Fire Pit Collective, it came from the Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club in California, indicating that he has at least left his lonely cabin existence behind. The subject becomes more intriguing now: when will Mickelson compete in next tournament? In three weeks, the first round of the PGA Championship will take place at Southern Hills, giving him plenty of time to get his game in tune. If that doesn’t work, the first LIV Golf tournament is three weeks later, giving him more time to figure out how to adjust with the least amount of trouble. (Oh, and there will definitely be some commotion.)
There are plenty of additional questions as well, the most important of which is: Has he contacted PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan regarding the possibility of returning to the PGA Tour? (Recall that the two had not communicated as of March, according to Monahan.) Or has Mickelson committed to playing all eight LIV Golf events in 2022, as The Telegraph reported?
For the time being, we’ll take any glimpse of Phil, even if it’s just two seconds of semi-grainy footage, since it intensifies everyone’s favorite Mickelson game: “What will Phil do next?”
Original article posted on Golf Digest