CHASKA, Minn. (AP) — Phil Mickelson is coming back for the PGA Championship.
Event organizers confirmed that Mickelson will play in the season’s fourth and final major, which starts Aug. 13 at Hazeltine in this community southwest of Minneapolis. Mickelson is expected to return to the tour next week at the Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio.
Mickelson, who did not speak with reporters during Wednesday’s practice round here, left the tour two months ago to be with his wife, Amy, who was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had surgery July 1. At about that time, Mickelson learned his mother has breast cancer as well.
Before missing the British Open this month, Mickelson had the longest active streak of majors played, at 61.
His presence at the PGA will add to a strong field that includes Tiger Woods.
“Well, if he’s playing, things are going better at home,” Woods said at the Buick Open in Michigan. “If things were not going well, then I don’t think he’d play. So it’s a positive sign to see him out here playing.”
Jim Furyk said he was happy to have Mickelson back.
“Hopefully his wife is doing well, and I think the fact he’s coming out is a good sign that she is,” Furyk said after Wednesday’s practice round at the Buick.
In a statement on his Web site, Mickelson said he will also play in the Barclays Golf Tournament two weeks after the PGA Championship, “and if things continue to go well I’ll be able to play more.”
Mickelson has struggled at Hazeltine as a pro, finishing in a tie for 34th at the 2002 PGA Championship. When the course hosted the 1991 U.S. Open, Mickelson – then an amateur – tied for 55th.
On Wednesday, Mickelson looked relaxed as he walked the course with two playing partners and a small group of bystanders. He hit a long drive off the 15th tee. After another strong drive on the par-4 16th, Mickelson’s approach to the green landed 6 feet from the hole.
While waiting for the other players to catch up, Mickelson held a putter in front of him and bounced a golf ball. The putter betrayed him a few moments later when his birdie putt lipped out, and he settled for par.
All the other holes were closed to media. Mickelson did not take questions.
Mickelson has played in 12 tournaments this year and won two, the Northern Trust Open and the World Golf Championships-CA Championship. His last event was a second-place finish at the U.S. Open in June.