The most tumultuous week in Phil Mickelson’s Hall of Fame career came to a familiar end late Friday, when Callaway Golf announced its intention to “halt” its connection with the left-hander.
Since a story on Firepitcollective.com last week that included harsh criticism of both the PGA Tour and the Saudi government, which the 51-year-old referred to as “scary mother——ers,” Mickelson has been under increased scrutiny.
Mickelson issued a long apology on Tuesday that made no mention of the PGA Tour and referred to the statements in the piece as “off the record” and “out of context.” In the press release, he also addressed his corporate supporters.
“I have wonderful partners,” he remarked, “and these relationships mean so much more to me than a contract.” “The last thing I’d ever want to do is put them or their business in jeopardy, so I’ve offered them all the option to suspend or end the relationship if they feel it’s necessary given the current circumstances.”
KPMG, a long-time sponsor, revealed on Tuesday that the two companies had “mutually agreed to withdraw our sponsorship effective immediately.” Another sponsor, Amstel Light, cut relations with Mickelson the same day. On Friday, Workday revealed that its sponsorship with Mickelson would not be renewed.
Callaway Golf, which has been Mickelson’s sponsor since 2004, took a more gentle approach.
“We were very disappointed at Phil Mickelson’s choice of words — they in no way reflect our beliefs or what we stand for as a company,” Callaway said in a statement. “Phil has subsequently apologized, and we are aware that he regrets his handling of recent events. We understand and accept his choice to take some time away from the game. We have agreed to put our partnership on hold for the time being, and we will revisit our continuous relationship at a later point.”
Mickelson, who was one of the most well-known players affiliated with the Saudi-backed super league, said in a statement on Tuesday that he planned to take “some time apart to prioritize the ones I love most and work on being the man I want to be.” The Tour had also been rumored to have suspended him, though the circuit does not comment on suspensions or disciplinary actions.
Mickelson hasn’t competed on Tour since the Farmers Insurance Open in late January, and he won’t be in the field for the Arnold Palmer Invitational next week, which he won in 1997 and has played 16 times.