Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson play in the US PGA Championship

Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson

Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson were largely absent from the tour this year (Image: Getty)

Tiger Woods and defending champion Phil Mickelson have been included in the 156-man field to play at next week’s US PGA Championship.

The legendary duo have both missed large parts of the season for different reasons, with Mickelson taking an extended hiatus from professional golf due to comments about Saudi Arabia in February, while Woods is nursing injuries from a car accident he suffered last year in Los Angeles.

Woods, the 15-time Major winner, returned to the Masters in April, finishing 47th after an encouraging start.

The US PGA begins next Thursday and will be played May 19-23 at the Southern Hills Country Club in Oklahoma. The last time the course hosted the event in 2007, Woods emerged victorious.

The 46-year-old played at Southern Hills last month and appears to be aiming for the majors on a reduced schedule, having previously announced he will play at the Open later this year.

Mickelson became the oldest major champion in history when he fended off Brooks Koepka and Louis Oosthuizen to win the US PGA at Kiawah Island last year.

Phil Mickelson

Mickelson shocked the sports world by winning the US PGA Championship last year (Image: Getty)

The 51-year-old has been out of favor since this week when many of his sponsors canceled their deals with the American after he backed the breakaway Saudi Tour and suggested using the project to influence the PGA Tour.

With his reputation in tatters, Mickelson attempted to stay out of the limelight and missed April’s Masters for the first time in 28 years.

A return to the US PGA would be the first time Mickelson has faced the media since his controversial statements.

In February he released a statement acknowledging the dismay caused by his rebel tour intentions.

He said: “I have used words that I sincerely regret that do not reflect my true feelings or intentions. It was reckless, I offended people, and I’m deeply sorry for my choice of words.

“I have often failed because of myself and also because of others. Over the last 10 years I have felt the pressure and stress slowly affecting me on a deeper level. I know I haven’t done my best and I desperately need some time to prioritize those I love the most and work on being the man I want to be.

MORE : Jon Rahm reveals how Tiger Woods helped him win the Mexico Open

MORE : Phil Mickelson’s comments ‘hurt’ my Saudi Arabia-backed tour, says Greg Norman

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General Sports Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson play in the US PGA Championship

Nate Jones

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