Augusta, Ga (WJBF) – Much of the talk around Augusta National on Tuesday focused on why Phil Mickelson voluntarily bowed out of golf’s most prestigious tournament.

“This place is awesome; it is magical. To miss out, he must have had a solid reason for not being here,” said Peter Dickson, from London, England. 

Mickelson has a lifelong invitation to the Masters but controversial statements about a new Saudi-backed golf tour sparked a backlash. He’s now on the list of past champions not playing.

 “Just like the roots of this golf course, he should be here. For him not be here, shame on everybody,” said Paul Kosmides, from Los Angeles.  

 But for some of these fans their focus is on Phil’s actions for what he said.  

 “To be sorrowful maybe for some of the things that he’s done or said positions that he has taken, that’s not good for golf,” said Jim Linenger from Brighton, Michigan.  

 But to many of his fans at Augusta National, Mickelson is a great golfer and a Masters legend who should not be sidelined by statements 

 “I think everybody is overreacting. I think you have to look at his entire career over a couple of comments that he makes; personally, kind of have grace and forgiveness let him get back at it,” said Jessica House from St Louis.  

Mickelson is as popular as they come and this is a popular sentiment with these golf fans.