With both Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson missing the Players Championship for the first time since 1994, will either man make it to the Masters in Augusta next month?
- Both Tigers Woods and Phil Mickelson are missing the Players Championship
- It is the first time both of the golfing legends have missed the event since 1994
- But will either make it to the Masters, with one recovering from injury and the other mired in shame?
For the first time since 1994, neither Tiger Woods nor Phil Mickelson will be in the field for the Players Championship, celebrating its 40th anniversary at iconic Sawgrass this week.
It begs the bigger question, of course, of whether either man will make it to the Masters next month. One recovering from injury and the other mired in shame, their hold on the American public is inexorable.
The nation has assembled a fabulous collection of exciting young talent but it’s still Woods and Mickelson who finished first and second respectively when the results were announced last week of a Player Impact programme run by the PGA Tour, based on who attracts the most attention.
Both Tigers Woods (left) and Phil Mickelson (right) are missing this year’s Players Championship
But looking ahead, will either Woods or Mickelson be present at this year’s Masters at Augusta?
Woods will at least be in Jacksonville on the eve of the Players, when he will be inducted into the sport’s Hall of Fame. It’s certain that he will be asked again about when he hopes to make his return and perhaps this time he might give a definitive response regarding the Masters, given the season’s first major is now just around the corner.
As for Mickelson, he said he desperately needed time away from the game following his horrendously damaging interviews regarding the proposed Saudi Golf League, and that time away from the PGA Tour now extends to over two months.
Given his affinity with the Masters and the fact that 51-year-old ‘Lefty’ has only one or two puncher’s chances left to win a fourth green jacket, it’s hard to imagine he’ll waste one of them sitting at home with his list of grievances. It won’t be easy coming back but if you’ve got to face the music anywhere, Augusta is the best place of all, with few people allowed on the practice range or in the Champions’ locker room, and no-one inside the ropes.
Mickelson’s damaging interviews over the Saudi Golf League left him needing a break from golf
At the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Tommy Fleetwood cut a depressed-looking figure on Friday, as he thought he’d missed a second successive cut, and thereby certain to fall out of the world’s top 50.
But the wind picked up and the cut number rose so he made it on the limit. In the third round yesterday, there were some encouraging signs as the popular Englishman shot a 70 to move up the board. Norwegian Viktor Hovland was the leader at halfway, two clear of Rory McIlroy and Tyrrell Hatton.
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