Phil Mickelson is out as host of the American Express tournament that is played each January in California’s Coachella Valley. The Palm Springs Desert Sun reported on Saturday that the PGA Tour confirmed that Mickelson won’t be the future host after serving the event in that capacity for the past three years. The charitable arm of the tournament, the Mickelson Foundation, will also no longer be part of the event, the tour said.
The American Express move come amid other sponsors distancing themselves from Mickelson last week after his confirmed involvement with the prospective Saudi-backed golf league and his controversial comments published by the Fire Pit Collective.
On Friday, Mickelson’s longtime equipment partner, Callaway Golf, said it was “pausing” its relationship with the six-time Major winner, and Workday confirmed that it would end its relationship with Mickelson when his current endorsement deal expires in March. Heineken already had said it was cutting ties to the World Golf Hall of Famer.
Mickelson, 51, has been a key figure in the tour event in La Quinta, California, for two decades. He has made 19 appearances in the American Express (still known to many as the Bob Hope) and won it twice, in 2002 and 2004.
Mickelson said in a statement last Tuesday that he “desperately” needed time away from competition and there is no indication when he might return to the PGA Tour.
PHOTO: Harry How