Phil Mickelson says he “said and did a lot of things that I regret” as he admired Saudi Arabia’s human rights record ahead of the LIV Golf series.
The six-time winner was mentioned in a 2021 question by author Alan Shipnuck in his forthcoming book, “Phil: The Rip-Roaring (and Not Approved!) Super League because it is” a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to revamp how the PGA Tour works. “
Shipnuck quoted Mickelson as saying that the cause of Saudi Arabia’s recent history of human rights abuses was that the regime killed journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The LIV Golf list is sponsored by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), an independent financial institution led by Mohammed bin Salman, a Saudi Arabian prince and a man whom US lawmakers have described as having approved the project. led the 2018 assassination of Khashoggi. Bin Salman has denied any involvement in Khashoggi’s assassination.
In his opening remarks at a press conference Wednesday, when asked about the history of human rights fundraising for the country, Mickelson appeared disappointed.
“Well, I’ve done, said and done a lot of things that I regret, and I apologize for this and the hurt that has caused so many people,” she said in the media. meeting.
“I do not condone human rights abuses. I do not think – there is no one here, in the whole world. I really know what happened to Jamal Khashoggi, and I think it is terrible.
“I’m also seen the best golf course has done throughout history, and I hope LIV Golf will do a lot of good in the game too. And I’m excited about this opportunity. ” Here I am. ‘
His appearance at Centurion Club is his first for a golf course in about four months – he missed the Masters this year for the first time in 28 years. The American, however, said he had a “good time” away from the game, spending time with his family.
However, Saudi Arabia’s theme and play-offs were one that Mickelson had to consider during his golf career.
A long pause before answering a question about a sporting event on such a trip indicated that someone could make an informed choice.
Again and again, Mickelson offered the same answer. “I do not condone human rights abuses,” he said.
The idea of players agreeing to play on the LIV Golf team has come with a lot of questions.
The bottom line is that if their commitment to this new tour affects their outstanding performance on other golf courses – in particular, the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour.
Two-time winner Dustin Johnson, and former PGA Tour player Kevin Na, have left the PGA Tour to compete in the LIV Golf. That means Johnson will no longer be eligible to win the Ryder Cup, although the US Open announced Wednesday that players could play in the upcoming games.
When asked about his future by the PGA Tour on Wednesday, especially if he was barred from agreeing to participate in the new project, Mickelson – who has enough opportunity on the PGA Tour – declined to confirm or deny, instead opting to. keep his cards close to his chest.
“I’m learning lessons,” Mickelson – who said he would play in the US Open this month – said. “I would be speaking on the PGA Tour team, which I have decided not to do at the moment.
“I really enjoyed my time on the PGA Tour and have a strong sense of what I need to do and what needs to be done well, but I will try to keep the discussion closed.
“I do not want to give up (my lifelong PGA Tour membership). I do not believe I should. I do not know what this means in the future, but I do not know what will happen. It will happen. But I have found that, and I do not want to give up.”
Although some well-known PGA Tour experts have criticized the players’ efforts to enter the new league, multiple winners Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood have chosen to call themselves “global golfers” and “independent contractors” respectively.
Apart from the big prize pool, one of Mickelson’s reasons for playing the LIV series is to build a better relationship between his family and working life.
And even his recent respite, he said, made him realize how much his life could change.
“I’ve been playing golf for many years, and when I left and took a break, I realized I needed to have a little bit, I think, well; I’ve said it several times,” he said.
“I just had to be a little more careful and get away from golf, and that gives me a chance to get golf back in my life but I still do what I want to do, whether it’s walking, wasting time. With the people I care about.
“I went to my grandchildren’s mini games. I never had a chance to do this in my whole life. I went to my grandson’s lacrosse game. I never had a chance to do that. It gave me a chance, as I say, to get better and get out of golf.”
What is the LIV Golf list?
The LIV Golf series is a new tour organized by LIV Golf Investments and features eight events around the world, starting in London on Thursday.
Guided by the old world No. 1 Greg Norman, the team’s series will run from June to October with the aim of, “improving the health of golfers around the world to launch the unused game.”
PIF was supposed to provide $ 250 million in total funding. Each of the first seven events will have $ 25million, $ 20m distributed among each player and the remaining $ 5m will be shared between the top three teams at the end of each week.
Ahead of the first event in London, 12 teams were announced, along with their leader. On Tuesday, the directors selected all their other teams in the same list as the NFL and NBA records.
In contrast to the golf course, the London event lasts three days and not four, with the 48-person club starting and shooting – all at once – hoping to be an exciting, action-packed event.
Competing in a traditional stroke game, the lowest score will be the winner.
In the first two rounds, two winning goals will be scored for each team, in the final round, three winning goals will be scored, and the lowest score for the entire team after 54 holes have been named the winner.
For the final event – the team competition – the form is changed to a knockout competition in four round matches.