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Phil Mickelson won't play in British Open

He will end 15-year streak in majors to stay with his wife.

July 11, 2009|Associated Press

Phil Mickelson will skip the British Open so he can be with his wife as she starts her recovery from breast cancer, ending the longest active streak of majors played at 61.

Mickelson said last month at the U.S. Open, where he was runner-up for a record fifth time, it was "highly unlikely" he would play at Turnberry next week.

His wife, Amy, had surgery July 1 for breast cancer and they are still waiting to decide the best treatment. While his wife was ready to have surgery, Mickelson learned his mother also had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

"As a professional golfer, competing in major championships and winning them is my main objective," Mickelson said on his website. "But I've always said family is my No. 1 priority. For that reason, I won't be playing the British Open at Turnberry next week."

He will be replaced in the field by Ben Crane. The alternate list is based on this week's world ranking of players who were not already eligible. Steve Marino becomes the first alternate.

Mickelson did not reveal much about his wife's surgery, although the fact they waited until after the U.S. Open is regarded as a good sign that it was caught early. His mother was to have surgery Friday in Houston.

"It's a trying time for us as we await more test results, but we have excellent medical attention and care," Mickelson said. "We've received wonderful support from so many people, many of whom have gone through the same battle, and we're optimistic, as always."

PGA Tour rainout

The second round of the John Deere Classic was postponed by heavy rain and is scheduled for today, with 36 holes to be played Sunday at Silvis, Ill.

The 36-hole marathon could be tough for players headed to the British Open.

"I hope I'm worn out enough to where I will sleep [on the flight]," Kenny Perry said.

Champions Tour

Andy Bean and Nick Price each shot a seven-under 65 and are tied for the lead after the first round of the Champions Tour's 3M Championship at Blaine, Minn.

Using a new driver, Bean, who has two second-place finishes this year, was five under through seven holes and birdied three of his last four holes.

Price shot a 30 on the back nine, including four consecutive birdies. Gene Jones, who finished fourth last year, shot a 66 at the TPC Twin Cities.

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