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Phil Mickelson withdraws from BMW Championship

Phil Mickelson withdrew from the BMW Championship on Tuesday after holding off Tiger Woods to win the Deutsche Bank Championship at the weekend and top the FedExCup standings.

Mickelson, who believes he has been let down by PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem over repeated requests for a more balanced schedule, had hinted he would skip this week's event and followed through on his warning saying he needed time off.

"This decision was not an easy one to make," Mickelson said in a statement. "And in no way is meant as disrespectful to the Tour or 'sending a message' to anyone.

"I've talked for weeks about needing to find a balance between my game, my business affairs and my family, and now is the time for me to take some time off."

Mickelson has played four events in the last month, slowly working his way back into form after injuring his wrist while practising for the U.S. Open in thick rough at Oakmont.

The American left-hander's injury forced him to withdraw from the Memorial tournament in early June and he missed the cut in his next three Tour starts, including the U.S. and British Opens.

Mickelson's withdrawal from the BMW Championship at Cog Hill Golf and Country Club in Lemont is another blow to the credibility of the PGA Tour's much-hyped season-ending FedExCup championship.

The inaugural FedExCup playoffs had a shaky start when world number one Woods skipped the first of the four playoff events, the Barclays Classic, and has continued to be hit by high profile withdrawals.

British Open champion Padraig Harrington also announced he will not play at the $7 million BMW championship while Ernie Els missed the Deutsche Bank event.

The BMW field is limited to the top 70 in the FedExCup standings after the first two events and will be trimmed to 30 for next week's Tour Championship in Atlanta.

The four-tournament playoff was designed to attract the world's top players in a spectacular finish to the season with the winner earning a $10 million bonus.


September 5, 2007

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