Players Championship champ: Phil Mickelson out, 48 of world’s top 50

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The Players Championship will once again boast a lucrative field, but there will also be notable absences this year.

In the field of 144 players, all but two of the world’s top 50 players will play the game next week at TPC Sawgrass. Harris English, Phil Mickelson, Steve Stricker and Tiger Woods are the only qualified players not to commit to the event.

Amid controversy over comments he made regarding the Saudi-backed super league, Mickelson will miss The Players for only the third time since 1992. Mickelson was absent from the event in 1994 after breaking his leg in skiing and in 2003 due to the birth of her second daughter. In a statement last week following his comments, the 51-year-old said he was taking a break from golf.

The Englishman won twice last year and was part of Team USA’s historic Ryder Cup loss, but hasn’t started since January as he suffers from a persistent hip injury that goes back last fall.

Stricker, last year’s US Ryder Cup captain, continues to recover from a health issue that hospitalized him for two weeks in late 2021.

Woods will miss The Players for the third consecutive year as he is still recovering from his February 2021 car accident. He did not play the event in 2020 due to a back injury, however, the tournament was canceled after Day 1 due to COVID-19. Woods’ presence will be felt again next weekend as he is inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Bryson DeChambeau is currently set to return from his wrist injury and make his first start since early February. Last week he was expected to return for his defense of the Arnold Palmer Invitational title, but pulled out on Monday before the event.

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