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Phil Mickelson Withdraws From PGA Championship: Fans React

Phil Mickelson hitting a golf ball.

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - FEBRUARY 22: Phil Mickelson of the United States plays his shot from the 17th tee during the second round of World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship at Club de Golf Chapultepec on February 22, 2019 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images)

On Friday, the PGA of America announced that Phil Mickelson has withdrawn from the 104th playing of the PGA Championship at Southern Hills.

Mickelson, the tournament's defending champion, was expected to make his return to competitive golf with an appearance at the event on Thursday. In fact, he was even listed on the tournament's official field earlier this week.

"We have just been informed that Phil Mickelson has withdrawn from the PGA Championship," the PGA of America said in a statement. "Phil is the defending champion and currently eligible to be a PGA Life Member and we would have welcomed him to participate. We wish Phil and Amy the very best and look forward to his return to golf."

The golf world took to Twitter to react to this news.

"So Phil on his own withdrew from a major he was the defending champion in to avoid the media. I mean that really freaking sucks," one fan wrote.

"What a wimp. You made your decision, now show up and defend it," another added.

At last year's PGA Championship, Mickelson became the oldest major champion in history with a win at the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island. Since then, the 51-year-old old lefty has fallen out of public favor due to his comments supporting the controversial Saudi-backed LIV Golf series.

Mickelson has not played in a PGA Tour event since those initial comments were made public.