Mickelson to focus on private battle

World No 2 puts career on hold to support his wife in her fight against cancer

Phil Mickelson yesterday announced that he has suspended his playing career indefinitely as his wife, Amy, fights breast cancer. The mother of three is expected to undergo major surgery, possibly within the next two weeks.

A statement from the world No 2's management company revealed that the 37-year-old had an extensive series of tests and is scheduled to undergo further investigations before treatment. The former cheerleader is one of the most visible wives on the PGA Tour and regularly attends events.

Her husband has withdrawn from this week's Byron Nelson Championship in Dallas, and he will not defend his title next week at the Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth. The US Open at Bethpage Black, where Mickelson finished second to Tiger Woods in 2002, is in four weeks' time.

It is not yet known whether the three-times major winner will play in the year's second major or indeed in the Open Championship at Turnberry in July. After winning the WGC CA Championship in Miami in March, the left-hander came close to overhauling Woods at the top of the world rankings and remains just one win away.

Mickelson was not due to compete at the BMW PGA Championship this week but the news overshadowed preparations at Wentworth, where John Daly had been the centre of attention. Paul Casey for one had no doubts who he would be following if he happened to be a paying punter and not Britain's leading hope at the tournament starting today. "I'd watch John Daly," commented Casey. The world No 7 said so in the knowledge that the view would be on the see-nothing side of uninterrupted.

When he arrived on the range yesterday, Casey could not fail to notice a crowd of about 100 huddled around one player. "There were all just standing there behind him, watching what he does," he said. "It's no wonder the sponsors continue to invite him and I hope they continue. When he's out on the course and is playing well he brings a smile to people's faces. You know there's a lot of great players out here. But this man creates memories."

In fact, there are 19 of the world's top 50 chasing the £667,000 first prize. This elite's number was reduced by one by yesterday's withdrawal of Justin Rose (apparently he aggravated a long-standing back injury while bending down to tie a shoelace on the weekend) but the field still retains a high-quality feel. Daly, however, plainly provides the magic as he continues his latest resurrection, although a young Ulsterman also has the capacity to put the ooohs with the pars.

In declaring at last week's Irish Open that the Ryder Cup is "an exhibition" which "is not that important to me" Rory McIlroy was risking the wrath of a few of the European veterans whose fame owes much to their success in the biennial showpiece. Of course, that was not his intention.

"I was trying to say that the main goal of my career is to win majors and not Ryder Cups," said McIlroy when invited to explain himself. "When I was a kid I always had a putt to win the Masters or the Open; it was never to win the Ryder Cup. I've played a lot of team golf and to win is fantastic. But individual success... it's a lot more satisfying."

Wentworth warriors Who'll lead the way?

Angel Cabrera (Arg) 16-1

A leading chance, if he has shaken off last month's Masters hangover.

Ross Fisher (Eng) 33-1

Capitulated when leading two years ago, but a different proposition now.

Nick Dougherty (Eng) 66-1

A torrid last year, but fourth at Irish Open confirmed his return to form.

Paul McGinley (Irl) 100-1

Not the force he was but not to be underestimated, regardless of form.

John Daly (US) 150-1

Insulting odds for a dual major winner who still has power to figure.

Sport
Brazilian fans watch the match for third place between Brazil and Netherlands
world cup 2014Brazil 0 Netherlands 3: Dutch pile on the misery in third place playoff
Sport
Robin van Persie hands his third-place medal to a supporter
Van Persie gives bronze medal to eccentric fan moments after being handed it by Blatter
Arts and Entertainment
TV The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
Arts and Entertainment
'Deep Breath' is Peter Capaldi's first full-length adventure as the twelfth Doctor
TVFirst episode of new series has ended up on the internet
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
people
Arts and Entertainment
Original Netflix series such as Orange Is The New Black are to benefit from a 'substantial' increase in investment
TVHoax announcement had caused outrage
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

News
Monkey business: Serkis is the king of the non-human character performance
peopleFirst Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Arts and Entertainment
Blackman: Landscape of children’s literature does not reflect the cultural diversity of young people
booksMalorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
News
One Direction star Harry Styles who says he has no plans to follow his pal Cara Delevingne down the catwalk.
peopleManagement confirms rumours singer is going it alone are false
Voices
Mrs Brown's Boy: D'Movie has been a huge commercial success
voicesWhen it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Curtain calls: Madani Younis
theatreMadani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Life and Style
Douglas McMaster says the food industry is ‘traumatised’
food + drinkSilo in Brighton will have just six staple dishes on the menu every day, including one meat option, one fish, one vegan, and one 'wild card'
Sport
Mario Balotelli, Divock Origi, Loic Remy, Wilfried Bony and Karim Benzema
transfersBony, Benzema and the other transfer targets
Life and Style
Once a month, waistline watcher Suran steps into a 3D body scanner that maps his body shape and records measurements with pinpoint accuracy
techFrom heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
News
Soft power: Matthew Barzun
peopleThe US Ambassador to London, Matthew Barzun, holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence. He says it's all part of the job
Sport
Joe Root and James Anderson celebrate their record-beaking partnership
cricketEngland's last-wicket stand against India rewrites the history books
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?