explosive comments Phil Mickelson made about the PGA Tour and the Saudi Arabia-backed, Greg Norman-led Super Golf League, which would be a direct competitor of the PGA Tour, were recently revealed by Alan Shipnuck.
Mickelson issued a statement on Tuesday in which he called his statements “reckless,” apologized, and stated that he had made mistakes for which he needed to be held accountable.
Mickelson also stated that his November conversation with Shipnuck was private.
Shipnuck retaliated. Despite the oppressive regime in Saudi Arabia, the writer for the Fire Pit Collective and author of the soon-to-be-released “Phil: The Rip-Roaring (and Unauthorized!) Biography of Golf’s Most Colorful Superstar” stands by the excerpt from his book about Mickelson saying he was one of the architects behind the proposed Saudi Arabia league and hoped to use the league, which guarantees exorbitant sums of money, as leverage against the PGA Tour.
“On the morning the extract was released, he texted me. “He wasn’t overjoyed,” Shipnuck wrote in a Fire Pit Collective column. “Mickelson attempted a half-hearted revisionist history in his statement on Tuesday afternoon, claiming our chat was a private conversation, but I quickly shut that down.”
“When he found out I was working on a book about him, he sought to speak with me, stating he wanted to talk about media freedom and his issues with the PGA Tour, all of which inevitably lead back to Saudi Arabia.” Unless it is expressly agreed otherwise, whenever the subject of a biography calls the author, the content of that conversation will always inform the book.”
According to Shipnuck, there was no agreement.
“Mickelson never requested to go off-the-record in our texts or when we got on the phone, and I never consented to it; if he had asked, I would have pushed back hard, as this was obviously information I wanted for the book,” Shipnuck wrote. “Mickelson just dialed my number and inserted a needle into my vein.” It’s now untrue and deceptive to pretend that the statements were made off the record.”