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Sports Mickelson skipping Waste Management Open to play in Saudi Arabia

19:25  02 december  2019
19:25  02 december  2019 Source:   thescore.com

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Phil Mickelson will skip this year's Waste Management Phoenix Open for the first time in 30 years to play the Saudi International. Players have taken an onslaught of criticism for taking seven-figure appearance fees from a Saudi government with a dubious human rights record.

Officials of the Waste Management Phoenix Open took the high road Tuesday when asked about Phil Mickelson ’s decision to skip their upcoming tournament in order to play in the Saudi International. If you don’t compete in Saudi Arabia , does that mean you also don’t go to China?

a person standing in front of a crowd of people watching a baseball game© Ben Jared / PGA TOUR / Getty

Phil Mickelson is opting out of the Waste Management Open in order to play the European Tour's Saudi International tournament.

"I watched Dustin (Johnson) win the title last year and thought the course looked like an interesting challenge," Mickelson said in a statement, according to ESPN's Bob Harig. "Having so many talented players on show also made it look like a much more established tournament than one in its inaugural year. I have enjoyed my previous visits to the Middle East and am looking forward to playing in a new country and doing my bit to grow the game in the Kingdom."

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Phil Mickelson has become the latest star to commit to the European Tour's controversial stop in Saudi Arabia , a decision that means he'll miss one Mickelson has added his name to the decorated field for next year's Saudi International. Dustin Johnson won the inaugural edition earlier this year, but

Mickelson , who is skipping a longtime staple on his schedule, the Waste Management Phoenix Open the same week, told ESPN at the American Express that 30. The European Tour came under heavy criticism for agreeing to schedule an event in Saudi Arabia when it was first announced due to the

The Waste Management Open, held at TPC Scottsdale in Arizona, draws more fans than any other PGA Tour event and has been a staple of Mickelson's schedule. Lefty's played in each edition of the event since 1990 and captured the title in 1996, 2005, and 2013.

The Saudi International runs the same weekend as the Waste Management Open, from Jan. 30 - Feb. 3. Mickelson will be joined by the likes of Brooks Koepka, Patrick Reed, Tony Finau, Henrik Stenson, and Sergio Garcia in the field.

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