Phil Mickelson

Phil Mickelson withdrew from last week's Farmers Insurance Open because of back pain. (Todd Warshaw / Getty Images / January 23, 2014)

Phil Mickelson will skip the Northern Trust Open this year, robbing the PGA Tour event at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades of one of its most popular draws.

Mickelson, who won at Riviera in 2008 and 2009, has taken the Northern Trust off his schedule because it conflicts with his oldest daughter’s school vacation schedule.

In past years, Mickelson’s three daughters all attended the same school and had the same spring break – one week after the Northern Trust, which is why Mickelson had played Riviera and then skipped the Match Play Championship at Marana, Ariz. This year, Mickelson will not play in either tournament, said T.R. Reinman, the golfer’s spokesman.

Lower back pain prompted Mickelson to withdraw from the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines last Friday, but after flying to Georgia to see a specialist he hoped to begin the defense of his title at the Waste Management Phoenix Open on Thursday.

“If it was any other tournament, I’d skip it,” Mickelson said in a statement, “but I’m defending, it’s my second hometown and I love the event.”

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