The unexpected is part of Phil Mickelson's repertoire, of course. One never knows what he's going to do next and what he does next is not always decorous.
Such was the case on Saturday, when Mickelson withdrew from the BMW Championship for what seems to be no other reason than he wanted to. Or wanted to make a statement.
"My primary goal is to rest and prepare for the Ryder Cup," he said through his management team. "Without a chance to contend at the Tour Championship, the most important thing for me now is to prepare for the Ryder Cup."
Out of contention is not an acceptable reason to withdraw from a tournament and will likely earn him a fine from the PGA Tour. Reaction likely will be mixed, some willing to dismiss it as Phil being Phil. Here, via Twitter, is a counterpoint from a pediatrician without the luxury of withdrawing without cause:
Would be nice if I could just decide like Phil Mickelson that I didn't have to show up at work because I needed more rest.
— Amol Yajnik (@amolyajnik) September 6, 2014
Mickelson has been open about his disapproval of having to play four tournaments in a row, which might have had something to do with his withdrawing. "Suspect it's his protest about going 4 straight weeks of playoff events," Associated Press golf writer Doug Ferguson wrote in a Tweet. "But a bit like Bubba. Trying to make a point no one cares about."
To which Dottie Pepper responded, "This is also not the first time the @PGATOUR has played 4 Playoff events in a row. If you don't like it, don't enter/start."
By skipping the final two rounds of the BMW Championship, incidentally, he has 20 days to prepare for the Ryder Cup instead of 18, which might lead some to conclude that it wasn't about the Ryder Cup at all.
(Getty Images photo)