‘Phil Was Not Missed’: Two-Time PGA Championship Winner Unbothered About Phil Mickelson and Calls Him a ‘Distraction’

Published 05/20/2022, 7:30 AM EDT

The 2022 PGA Championship has already begun, but the champion of 2021 is not present to defend his title. Many golfers expressed that the history-creating golfer, Phil Mickelson, will be missed at the Southern Hills this week during the press meet. However, a veteran golfer and former champion of the event didn’t think the same. 

“It was a fun evening,” Dave Stockton said about the Champions Dinner held on Tuesday. “Phil was not missed,” he stated about the 2021 PGA Championship winner. 


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Turned pro in 1964, 80-year-old Dave Stockton has been playing golf professionally for almost six decades now. Including two PGA Championships, he has won 10 titles throughout his time on the PGA Tour. Notably, he has also won 14 titles on the PGA Tour Champions, including the 1996 U. S. Senior Open. 

“I think Phil would have been a big distraction whether he was here,” Stockton further added. “The story here this week is the PGA.”


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As the past champion, Stockton attended the Champions Dinner on Tuesday, where he made the statement on Mickelson. Interestingly, as the champion of 2021, Mickelson would have got the chance to host the event if he had been there. 

Mickelson withdrew from the tournament before it began on May 19th. Not to mention, he hasn’t attended any events since he made controversial comments about the LIV Golf Series and the PGA Tour. 

Notably, only a few past champions, including Rory McIlroy and Collin Morikawa, attended the Champions Dinner. Although some of the former champions, like Tiger Woods and John Daly, are present on the field, they didn’t attend the event. 

Phil Mickelson and the PGA Championship

Phil Mickelson has won 6 major championships, including two PGA Championships, in his 30-year-long career. He won his first PGA Championship, second major overall, in 2005 with a one-shot lead. He had made a record then as he was the first left-hander to win the event. 

Fifteen seasons later, Mickelson won another PGA Championship in 2021. It was his sixth and final major victory until now. Nicknamed Lefty, Mickelson was 50-years-old when he won the title, making him the oldest player to win a major. 


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USA Today via Reuters

During the press meet this week, many golfers expressed that the defending champion would be missed at the Southern Hills. McIlroy thought the golfer should have been on the field this week “celebrating” his last year’s historic victory

Meanwhile, Tiger Woods feels it was “disappointing” that the defending champion was not on the field. However, the veteran, Stockton, had a different opinion and felt that Lefty would have been “a distraction.” 


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Do you think Mickelson being on the field would have impacted the major negatively?

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Anjana Prabhakaran

1173 articles

Anjana Prabhakaran is a Golf content writer at EssentiallySports. She has completed her Master's degree in Public Administration and considers researching as one of her hobbies. As her family is interested in sports, Anjana grew up watching every sport on television.

Edited By: Melroy Fernandes