Phil Mickelson, who took over the No. 1 spot in the FedEx Cup playoffs standings
by winning the Deutsche Bank Championship on Monday, will not play in this week's BMW Championship.
In an interview with Golf World, Mickelson did not elaborate on his reasons for withdrawing from the third leg of the
FedEx Cup playoff series other than to reiterate what he said after winning
the Deutsche Bank title: "I feel an obligation to the PGA Tour, but I also want to be home with my family."
Mickelson participated in a corporate outing Tuesday at Medinah Country Club
outside Chicago, not far from Cog Hill, site of the BMW Championship, where tournament officials were awaiting official word on his plans.
Later, in a news release from his management company, Mickelson said: "This decision was not an easy one to make and in no way is meant as disrespectful to the Tour or 'sending a message' to anyone. I've talked for weeks about needing to find a balance between my game, my business affairs and my family, and now is the time for me to take some time off."
Mickelson told Golf World that he will fly to his home near San Diego on Tuesday evening, but added: "I'm looking forward to Atlanta." His reference is to next week's Tour Championship, the final of four playoff events. The top 30 players in the FedEx Cup standings will participate at East Lake.
Mickelson is currently No. 1 in the standings, followed by Steve Stricker and Tiger Woods. If Woods were to finish second alone at Cog Hill this week, a course where he has won three times when it hosted the Western Open, he would pass Mickelson and lead in the points standings.
Mickelson isn't the first top player to skip one of the playoff events. Woods missed the first FedEx Cup playoff event in Westchester, N.Y., following wins at a World Golf Championship event and the PGA Championship. Ernie Els and Scott Verplank missed the second event last weekend outside of Boston.
Other than the tight scheduling necessitated by this year's FedEx Cup system, Mickelson did not expound on his remarks Monday evening after he won the Deutsche Bank Championship, when he said: "My frustration from this past year came from asking for a couple of things in the FedEx Cup that weren't done and not really feeling all that bad now if I happen to miss [an event]."
Mickelson wasn't the only player to withdraw. British Open
champion Padraig Harrington also announced he was taking this week
off, citing fatigue. Also missing among the top 70 eligible for the
BMW Championship are Paul Goydos and Bernhard Langer, who has said
he would not take part in the FedEx Cup, instead playing the
Champions Tour and in Europe.
Goydos was No. 56 and would have needed at least a fifth-place
finish for any chance of moving into the top 30 and qualify for the
Tour Championship next week at East Lake.
Information from The Associated Press is included in this report