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Mickelson opts out of Race to Dubai

  • Story Highlights
  • Phil Mickelson decides against joining European Tour for 2009 season
  • Three-time major winner had been rumored to be joining Race to Dubai
  • Camilo Villegas and Anthony Kim among several leading stars to sign up
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(CNN) -- Phil Mickelson will not be taking part in the European Tour's lucrative Race to Dubai, the American star confirmed on Tuesday.

Mickelson is not ready to commit himself fully to the European Tour.

The world number three was speaking ahead of a tournament in Singapore, saying that his schedule for 2009 did not allow him to commit full time to the tour.

"It wasn't quite right for me time-wise but I have still made a commitment to play more golf internationally and I do believe that it's very possible that, in the near future, it will be in my plans," he told the Press Association.

"As I play more throughout the world it would be a natural fit to be a part of the Race to Dubai," Mickelson added.

Mickelson made a strong defense of his HSBC Champions title in Shanghai, the first event of a 13 month European Tour season which culminates in the $10 million season-finale next November in Dubai.

The massive cash pool on offer and the growing status of the European Tour has prompted a number of leading stars such as Anthony Kim of the United States and Camilo Villegas of Colombia to join up for the 2009 season.

Players are required to play a minimum of 12 tournaments, which can include the four grand slams and three World Golf Championship events and Mickelson said he would be giving it serious consideration in the future.

"It would be an honor for me to be a part of it, " said the three-time major winner.

"But again, I'm not going to commit to doing it in 2010 because I don't know what's going to happen over the next 14 months.

"But if a couple of things happen here or there, it would help to make it all fit."

Mickelson lost his world number two ranking to new HSBC Champion Sergio Garcia after finishing tied for eighth in Shanghai, but said he was unconcerned about the loss of status.

"The world rankings will fluctuate and that's not something I've spent much time thinking about. I think that if I play well, the world ranking, the money list and all those other things will take care of itself," he said.

Mickelson will tee it up against the likes of 2008 double major winner Padraig Harrington, South Africa's Ernie Els, Adam Scott of Australia and Korean star KJ Choi in the Asian Tour event in Singapore.

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