Phil Mickelson "was not missed" at PGA Champions dinner, says past champ

Dave Stockton took aim at Phil Mickelson on the eve of the second men's major at Southern Hills.

Phil Mickelson "was not missed" at PGA Champions dinner, says past champ
Phil Mickelson "was not missed" at PGA Champions dinner, says past champ

Just like any other major, the past champions gather to break bread on the eve of the tournament. As we all know, Phil Mickelson is not here. 

Mickelson decided against trying to defend his title at Southern Hills this week and we are none the wiser as to what is going on between his ears. 

Before the tournament began, seemingly every player was asked about what they thought about the ongoing furore surrounding Mickelson. 

Brooks Koepka only offered three words. "He's not here," said Brooksy. Rory McIlroy said his stance had softened over the last few weeks. 

Tiger Woods appeared to chide Lefty by saying that he hadn't reached out to him at all as he disagreed completely with his original comments. 

Viktor Hovland described it as weird. Others hoped that Mickelson was just okay and thought there was still a way back for Lefty into the game. 

Dave Stockton, who won the 1970 and '76 PGA Championships was asked about the dinner. His answer? "It was a fun evening, Phil was not missed." 

He added: "I think Phil would have been a big distraction. The story here this week is the PGA." 

It has been reported that Stockton was partly responsible in changing the dinner to only past champions only. 

He added: At Kiawah last year we had I think six or seven people in the room besides just players, and like we did last night, we sat around and they can't separate us out because there's so many players, former champions, that it was unbelievable.

"We ended the night, and everybody stayed. I think it blew the PGA officers away." 

A few weeks ago, the PGA of America chief executive Seth Waugh said he had spoken to Mickelson before he had made the decision to withdraw. He hoped that if Mickelson were to play that it "wouldn't be a circus". 

The dinner this year included Collin Morikawa, Rory McIlroy, Jason Dufner, Martin Kaymer, Padraig Harrington, Keegan Bradley, Jason Dufner, Rich Beem, Mark Brooks, Jeff Sluman and Stockton.

Beem spoke to GolfMagic on the eve of the tournament about Mickelson and why he doesn't trust the journalist who published the remarks that led to his fall from grace.

Read that here.

Phil Mickelson

More stories about the PGA Championship from GolfMagic: 

Tiger's team deny ball speed figures displayed during practice

Why Bryson DeChambeau withdrew from the second men's major

The top-10 U.S PGA moments, ranked! 

Paige Spiranac on the backlash of Mickelson's absence

Brooks Koepka reacts to beer prices at Southern Hills 

Jon Rahm happy the attention is still on Tiger Woods 

Now watch our latest YouTube video: 

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