GARDENS OF PALM BEACH, FLORIDA – Phil Mickelson addressed unflattering comments about the PGA Tour and others associated with the proposed Saudi Arabia-backed, Greg Norman-led Super Golf League that would siphon off some of the game’s biggest stars and rival the PGA Tour just five minutes before a player meeting began at the Honda Classic.
Mickelson, a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame and six-time major champion, also chastised the source of the comments, Alan Shipnuck of 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,” in a statement. Mickelson also stated in the approximately 550-word statement that he will take time off to “focus on being the guy I want to be.”
“Although it may not appear so now, given my recent comments,” Mickelson wrote, “my actions throughout this process have always been in the best interests of golf, my peers, sponsors, and fans.” “There’s the issue of off-the-record remarks being released out of context and without my consent, but the bigger issue is that I used words I deeply regret and that do not reflect my genuine thoughts or intentions.” It was rash, I insulted people, and I apologize profusely for the language I used. I’m devastated and will make every attempt to reflect and learn from this experience.
Mickelson lost his first sponsor shortly after making his statement.
“Phil Mickelson and KPMG US have mutually agreed to cease our sponsorship immediately.” In a statement, the firm added, “We wish him the best.”
Mickelson informed Shipnuck that he was one of the architects of the proposed Saudi Arabia-backed league, and that he hoped to utilize the league’s massive financial guarantees against the PGA Tour.
Mickelson remarked of Saudi Arabia’s authoritarian regime, “They’re terrible mother——s to get involved with.” “We know they assassinated (Washington Post reporter and US resident Jamal) Khashoggi and have a dreadful human rights record.” People are executed for being gay in that country.
“With all of this in mind, why would I even think about it?” Because this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to change the way the PGA Tour works. Because we, the players, had no recourse, they were able to get away with manipulative, coercive, and strong-arm techniques. Even though (PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan) appears to be a kind guy, unless you have leverage, he will not do what is right.
“And the Saudi money has finally given us that leverage,” says the narrator.
Mickelson told Golf Digest earlier this year that the PGA Tour’s “greed” was “beyond annoying.”
Despite the fact that nine of the world’s top 12 players have officially stated their commitment to the Tour – Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau joined the chorus last week – Professional golf, according to Mickelson, needs to evolve.
“Golf is in desperate need of reform, and true change always comes with disruption,” Mickelson remarked. “I’ve always known that when you try something new, you’re bound to get some criticism. I still opted to be in the vanguard of this in order to inspire change, taking the flak in public in order to do the behind-the-scenes work.
“I’ve had a great time working with LIV Golf Investments. I apologise for anything I said that was misconstrued. People with whom I’ve worked are visionaries who have only been supportive.
“More significantly, they are ardent golf fans who share my desire to improve the game.” They have a clear strategy in place to provide an updated and good experience for everyone involved, including players, sponsors, broadcasters, and fans.”
Mickelson, on the other hand, appears to have been hurt by criticism directed at him, particularly harsh remarks from Rory McIlroy and Billy Horschel.
“Obviously, I don’t want to kick someone while he’s down, but I thought they were foolish, selfish, egotistical, and dumb,” McIlroy said after the Genesis Invitational’s final round last week. “There aren’t enough words to describe his interaction with Shipnuck. It was both surprised and disappointing, as well as sad. I’m sure he’s at home, considering his situation and where he wants to go next.”
Mickelson decided to make a statement.
“I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life,” Mickelson added, “and many of them have been made public.” “I never intended to damage anyone, and I sincerely apologize to those who have been harmed as a result of my actions.” It’s always been about backing up the players and the game, and I’m grateful to everyone who has given me the benefit of the doubt.
“I realize I need to be accountable, notwithstanding my feeling that certain adjustments have already been achieved within the larger dialogue.” I’ve lived a very public life for the past 31 years, and I’ve tried to live up to my own aspirations, be the role model that my fans deserve, and be someone who inspires others. I’ve worked hard to compete at the top level, to be accessible to the media, to represent my sponsors with integrity, to engage with volunteers, and to sign every signature for my adoring fans.
“I’ve had many wonderful and satisfying experiences that I’ll always remember, but I’ve also disappointed myself and others countless times. I’ve been feeling the pressure and tension for the past ten years, and it’s been steadily impacting me on a deeper level. I’m well aware that I haven’t been my best, and I really need some time away to focus on the people I care about most and concentrate on becoming the guy I want to be.”
Leave a Reply