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Phil Mickelson 2009 PGA Championship
Phil Mickelson is trying to get his game back in shape after skipping several weeks to be with his ailing wife and mother. (Greenwood/Getty Images)

Mickelson practices at Hazeltine, confirms he'll play in PGA

Phil Mickelson dropped in on Hazeltine Wednesday and played a practice round. He plans to make his return to competition at the upcoming WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, then return to Hazeltine for the PGA Championship.

CHASKA, Minn. (AP) -- Phil Mickelson will play at next month’s PGA Championship.

PGA of America organizers say Mickelson is confirmed as an entrant for the event at Hazeltine in Minnesota. It’s the fourth and final major of the season.

Mickelson has been away for nearly two months because his wife, Amy, has breast cancer. She had surgery July 1. At about that time, Mickelson learned his mother has breast cancer and is being treated.

Mickelson played a practice round Wednesday at Hazeltine, looking relaxed as he hit a long drive on the par-5 15th and chatted with his playing partners.

The PGA Championship starts Aug. 13.

Earlier this week, Mickelson said he will return to the PGA Tour at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational next week, his first tournament since he tied for second at the U.S. Open.

Mickelson’s decision to play the Bridgestone was announced Tuesday by tournament organizers and suggested he also would play the following week in the PGA Championship at Hazeltine. Bridgestone is the third of the four World Golf Championship events of 2009.

Mickelson won the WGC’s CA Championship in March and has competed in all 10 previous Bridgestone Invitationals, with five top-10s. His best finish came in 1999 when he tied for second.

A three-time major champion, Mickelson skipped the British Open, ending the longest active streak of majors at 61. He had played in every major dating to the 1994 U.S. Open.

Tiger Woods, a six-time winner at Firestone, is expected to confirm this week that he’ll join what will likely be a strong Bridgestone field.

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