Golf: Mickelson out indefinitely; wife diagnosed with cancer
By Doug Ferguson
Phil Mickelson was gearing up for his favorite time of year, working his way toward Bethpage Black and another crack at the U.S. Open before a New York gallery that treats him like a rock star.
All that changed Wednesday, along with his priorities, when he disclosed that his wife, Amy, has been diagnosed with breast cancer.
Mickelson, who withdrew from the Byron Nelson Championship, is taking an indefinite leave from the PGA Tour. He is to defend his title next week at Colonial, but even that is uncertain. An issued statement said his 37-year-old wife would have more tests, though treatment would begin with “major surgery” as early as the next two weeks.
“We see Amy as this vibrant, bubbly mother of three who is tremendously devoted to her husband and family,” Jack Nicklaus said. “No one, especially Amy, deserves to have to face the battle that accompanies cancer. But we know that Amy has this amazing inner strength and spirit, and with Phil’s unwavering love and support, they will fight and overcome this.”
Mickelson was closing in on the No. 1 ranking held by Tiger Woods. He was runner-up to Woods at Bethpage Black in 2002.
“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.”
Scott Verplank said Mickelson sent him a text message Tuesday night “and I had a hard time sleeping.”
“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.”