Lefty bows out of Grand Slam event
Phil Mickelson has had a busy and, at times, trying year. Who can blame the guy for needing a break?
Mickelson, who in April won his third Masters championship -- and with it a berth in the PGA Grand Slam of Golf -- has announced he will sit out the year-end event to rest and spend time with his family.
A hectic late-season schedule and a diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis were cited in Mickelson's decision to skip the Grand Slam (though he still plans to compete in next month's Ryder Cup). He also took a break from the tour last year after both his wife and mother were diagnosed with cancer.
The 28th Grand Slam of Golf -- a 36-hole tournament featuring the season's four major winners -- will be the first of its kind since 1994 to include four international players. Ernie Els, who won the 1997 Grand Slam, will replace Mickelson in the event, which will be held Oct. 18-20 at Port Royal Golf Course in Bermuda.
Mickelson's absence not only removes any American element from the tournament, but also a compelling plot line. In 2004, Mickelson won his first Masters and wrapped the season by firing a record-setting 13-under-par 59 at the Grand Slam event -- a figure that also tied the lowest-ever score posted in a PGA event.
Jason Langendorf is an editor for ESPN.com.