Sports Outside the Beltway

Hanging up his spikes for 2006

From AP-

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Masters champion Phil Mickelson is done playing for the year, the PGA of America announced Thursday in saying that Mike Weir would replace him in the Grand Slam of Golf.

Mickelson has shut it down after the PGA Championship the last two years, wanting to spend more time with his family. He did not enter the American Express Championship outside London this week, and a year ago skipped the season-ending Tour Championship.

Although speculation has been that Mickelson would not play again until next year’s Bob Hope Classic in January, this was the first public statement that he was finished for the year. The PGA said Mickelson told them after the Ryder Cup “he would not be competing the remainder of the year.”

A spokesman for Mickelson said the PGA of America release had been approved.

The Grand Slam of Golf, to be played Nov. 21-22 at Poipu Bay in Hawaii, is for the four major champions of the year. Jim Furyk was the first alternate because Tiger Woods won two majors. Ernie Els finished second on the alternate list and declined, so the spot went to Weir, who won the Masters in 2003.

The alternate list is only for past major champions and is based on their performance in the 2006 majors.

Filling out the field is U.S. Open champion Geoff Ogilvy.

Hardly surprising news from Mickelson. I’ll just say maybe Phil should start skipping the Ryder Cup also. His play in the the 2004 and 2006 Ryder Cups has been abominable. In the days before the 04 match, Mickelson changed golf Equipment. A clear sign to me of his lack of enthusiasm. Phil is not doing the US any favors by playing in these events if he don’t care about them.

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