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Phil Mickelson to skip Waste Management Phoenix Open in 2020

Phil Mickelson of the United States plays his shot from the third tee during Day Three of the WGC HSBC Champions at Sheshan International Golf Club on November 02, 2019 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Arizona State alum and local favorite Phil Mickelson will skip the 2020 Waste Management Phoenix Open in order to attend the Saudi International tournament.

The European Tour event runs through Jan. 30-Feb. 3, crossing over the schedule for the Arizona golf tournament at TPC Scottsdale that has events from Jan. 27-Feb. 2.

“I am really looking forward to playing in Saudi Arabia in January,” Mickelson said in a statement, according to ESPN. “I watched Dustin [Johnson] win the title last year and thought the course looked like an interesting challenge. 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.”

Mickelson’s streak of 26 years in the Official World Golf Ranking ended in November after a streak of 26 years among the sport’s elite players.

Nonetheless, Mickelson would have again been a heavy fan-favorite at TPC Scottsdale, where he’s regularly drawn shoulder-to-shoulder galleries.

He had appeared at the Waste Management Open ever since 1990.

Mickelson won the event in 1996, 2005 and 2013. That dates back to Mickelson’s college days at ASU, where he won three NCAA individual titles and became one of four players ever to be named a First Team All-American for all four of his collegiate seasons.