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Mickelson takes break as wife battles cancer

PHIL Mickelson's wife, Amy, has been diagnosed with breast cancer, and the three-time major champion said on Wednesday he will suspend his US PGA Tour schedule indefinitely.

Amy will have surgery as early as the next two weeks.

Mickelson, the No. 2 player in the world with 36 career US PGA Tour victories, was to play in the Byron Nelson Championship this week before defending his title next week at Colonial.

It was not certain if he would return in time for the US Open from June 18-21 in New York, where he was the runner-up to Tiger Woods in 2002 and is beloved by golf fans.

"Elin and I are deeply saddened to hear the news about Amy," Woods said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with her, Phil, the children and the entire Mickelson family."

Amy Mickelson is among the most visible wives on the tour, a former Phoenix Suns cheerleader who regularly walks during the rounds and mingles easily with the gallery.

She was waiting with their three children by the 18th green at the 2004 Masters when Mickelson won his first major, and at the 2006 US Open, his most crushing loss in a major.

One of the photos in the clubhouse at the Byron Nelson Championship is Mickelson walking with Amy when they were engaged in 1996 and Mickelson won the tournament.

Scott Verplank, who played on two Ryder Cup teams and two Presidents Cup teams with Mickelson, said Mickelson sent him a text late on Tuesday. "I had a hard time sleeping," Verplank said.

"Every time I've been around her, she's always had a smile on her face. She's always upbeat," Verplank said.

"She's a neat girl. Hopefully, it's early and hopefully, they take care of it. I just sent Phil a text back. I didn't call him or anything. He'll call me if he needs anything."

Mickelson met his wife in 1992 when at Arizona State University, a year after he won his first US PGA Tour event as an amateur.

Amy knew nothing about golf at the time.

"I grew up in a tennis family, and when he told me he was a pro golfer, I thought he worked in the shop at a golf course," she wrote in Mickelson's book, "One Magical Sunday," after he won his first major at the 2004 Masters.


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