Phil Mickelson’s wife, Amy, has been diagnosed with breast cancer, and the three-time major champion said Wednesday he will suspend his PGA Tour schedule indefinitely.
According to a release from Mickelson’s management company, his wife was to have more tests but begin treatment with major surgery as early as the next two weeks.
Mickelson, the No. 2 player in the world with 36 career PGA Tour victories, was to play the Byron Nelson Championship this week before defending his title next week at Colonial. It was not certain if he would return in time for the U.S. Open on June 18-21 at Bethpage Black, where he was the runner-up to Tiger Woods in 2002 and is beloved by golf fans in the New York area.
“Elin and I are deeply saddened to hear the news about Amy,” Woods said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with her, Phil, the children and the entire Mickelson family.”
Amy Mickelson is among the most visible wives on the PGA Tour, a former Phoenix Suns cheerleader who regularly walks during the rounds and mingles easily with the gallery. She was waiting with their three children by the 18th green at Augusta National in 2004 when Mickelson won his first major, and at Winged Foot in 2006 at the U.S. Open, his most crushing loss in a major.
One of the photos in the clubhouse at the Byron Nelson Championship is Mickelson walking with Amy when they were engaged in 1996 and Mickelson won the tournament.
Scott Verplank, who played on two Ryder Cup teams and two Presidents Cup teams with Mickelson, said Lefty sent him a text Tuesday night. “I had a hard time sleeping,” Verplank said.
“Every time I’ve been around her, she’s always had a smile on her face. She’s always upbeat,” Verplank said. “She’s a neat girl. Hopefully, it’s early and hopefully, they take care of it. I just sent Phil a text back. I didn’t call him or anything. He’ll call me if he needs anything.”
Mickelson met his wife in 1992 when he was a senior at Arizona State, a year after he won his first PGA Tour event as an amateur.
Amy knew nothing about golf at the time.
“I grew up in a tennis family, and when he told me he was a pro golfer, I thought he worked in the shop at a golf course,” she wrote in Mickelson’s book, One Magical Sunday, after he won the 2004 Masters.
They were married in 1996 and have three children: Amanda, 9, Sophia, 7, and Evan, 6. Their first child was born the day after the 1999 U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2., where Mickelson carried a pager and promised to leave if his wife went into labour.
Contractions began on Sunday, but she decided not to tell Mickelson as he tried to win his first major. He lost by one stroke when Payne Stewart holed a 15-foot par putt on the final hole, and Mickelson arrived home in time for the birth.