You have 15 days to prepare your out-of-office excuses for the Masters. Plan ahead.

Is that it?

There is exactly one (1) World Golf Championship on the 2021-22 PGA Tour schedule and it gets underway this morning at Austin Country Club. The WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play features round-robin matches Wednesday through Friday, with the final 16 players competing over the weekend. Seven of the top 10 players in the Official World Golf Ranking are in attendance, including Jon Rahm, Collin Morikawa, and Viktor Hovland.

A fixture of PGA Tour schedules for more than 20 years, WGC events are facing an uncertain future—and not just because the pandemic has made international travel tricky. Even the ones held in the United States have largely fallen by the wayside. After the WGC-HSBC Champions in China was canceled last fall, the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play remained as the only WGC on the PGA Tour schedule this season.

If the WGCs cease to exist soon, we may not see much high-profile match play in men’s pro golf anymore, outside of the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup. It would be a shame to lose the Austin event, even if the WGCs as a whole have had their issues. So enjoy this week, because we aren’t sure how much longer the Match Play will be with us.

Kicking the proverbial can

Augusta National Golf Club confirmed on Monday that three-time Masters winner and defending PGA champion Phil Mickelson will not participate in this year’s Masters Tournament. It will be the first time since 1994 that Mickelson has not made the trip down Magnolia Lane.

Almost exactly one month ago, Mickelson said in a statement that he planned to take some time away to “prioritize the ones I love most and work on being the man I want to be.” This came in the wake of Alan Shipnuck’s reporting of Mickelson’s comments on the prospect of a Saudi-backed golf league. The left-hander has not played an event since early February, but many in the golf industry circled the 2022 Masters as his comeback week. It appears that he’s not ready for the glare of the Augusta spotlight. But unless Mickelson sneaks into a normal PGA Tour event this spring, he’ll face a similarly uncomfortable level of public scrutiny at the PGA Championship, where he is set to defend his title.

Mickelson may have punted this time, but when he returns, the same questions will be waiting for him.

The Latest from The Fried Egg

Southern Pines Revisited – Kyle Franz’s work at Donald Ross’s Southern Pines reveals a new contender in the North Carolina Sandhills. Via guest contributor Michael Croley.

The Fried Egg Podcast: Is an Equipment Rollback on the Horizon? – Following the latest Distance Insights updates from the USGA and R&A, Andy Johnson and Geoff Schackelford discuss the potential for a rollback and the possibility of bifurcation. Listen on iTunes and Spotify.

The Shotgun Start – Andy and Brendan chat about the Match Play, Phil’s Masters WD, and Oakland Hills’ new USGA deal. Listen on iTunes and Spotify.

Tee Times

Bryson DeChambeau makes his return from injury alongside a loaded field at the WGC Dell Technologies Match Play. Just Cam Smith, Rory McIlroy, and Sam Burns are missing from the OWGR top 10.

The LPGA Tour is back in the United States for the first time since early February. Jin Young Ko, Lydia Ko, and defending champion Inbee Park headline the JTBC Classic at Aviara Golf Club.

Alternate-field SZN continues on the PGA Tour with the Corales Puntacana Championship.

The Korn Ferry Tour will enjoy one more week of Louisiana food at the Lake Charles Championship.

Eddie Pepperell, Adrian Meronk, Chris Wood, and Adri Arnaus are in attendance at the DP World Tour’s Commercial Bank Qatar Masters.

Quick Hooks

Nelly Korda will miss next week’s Chevron Championship, the first major of the LPGA Tour season, as she continues to recover from a blood-clot diagnosis.

The USGA announced that Oakland Hills Country Club will host the 2034 and 2051 U.S. Opens. Recently restored by Gil Hanse, the storied championship venue will also be the site of the U.S. Women’s Open, U.S. Junior, U.S. Women’s Am, U.S. Girls’ Junior, and U.S. Amateur over the next 25 years. Check out the short video on Donald Ross’s South Course that we posted yesterday.

For, Kevin Robbins wrote a great rundown of Austin Country Club’s fascinating history.

Following the 2025 Walker Cup at Cypress Point, the Walker Cup will move to an even-year schedule.

While Phil Mickelson let Augusta National know he will not be attending this year’s Masters Tournament, Tiger Woods has not yet notified the club of his decision.

Lee Westwood has been rather combative on Twitter recently, clearly trying to defend… well, something! Perhaps his rumored involvement with the Saudi-funded LIV Golf Invitational.