Phil Mickelson joins Saudi-backed LIV Golf for first event

placeholder when loading article action

Liv Golf Announce On Monday, six-time Grand Slam champion Phil Mickelson will play in the opening match of the breakaway tour outside London this week.

The announcement was long anticipated. Mickelson, who has complained for years of golfers being financially abused by the PGA Tour, and three other unidentified players paid lawyers for the fledgling league, which is funded by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. Write an operating agreement.

With LIV Golf, Sharks strike again

Mickelson has not played on the PGA Tour since being eliminated at the Farmers Insurance Open in late January. He missed the Masters for the first time since 1994 and didn’t defend his PGA Championship title. His absence comes after comments he made to biographer Alan Shipnak, who said he was willing to ignore Saudi Arabia’s human rights record to get the new coalition off the ground.

“They’re terrible mothers — get involved,” Mickelson said. “We know they killed [Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi] And has a poor record on human rights. They execute people there because they are gay. Knowing all this, why should I even think about it? Because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape the way the PGA Tour works. “

in a statement On Monday, Mickelson said: “He’s done some of the things I’ve said and done in my career. It’s very humbling to take time out and self-reflection. I need to start prioritizing the people I love the most. , and strive to be a better version of yourself.”

Financial details of his deal with LIV Golf were not made public. golf channel His participation will reportedly fetch around $200 million.

Greg Norman, two-time Open Champion, former world No. 1, and head of LIV Golf Investments, echoed Mickelson’s concerns about the new project when he announced Monday that the new project “is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.” Some of the rhetoric from the PGA Tour was for many of the players who played in the inaugural event.

Describing the 51-year-old Mickelson as “without a doubt one of the greatest golfers of his generation,” Norman said: “His contribution to the game and connection to fans around the world cannot be overemphasized. For that, we are delighted to have him. He strengthens an exciting field in London and we are proud to usher in a new era of golf.”

Mickelson will join 47 other golfers at the LIV Golf Tournament at Centurion Club on Thursday; it will be a 54-hole tournament that includes team play, shotgun starts and no cuts. The name “LIV” is pronounced like “give” and refers to the Roman numeral 54.

Other golfers planning to play include two-time major champion Dustin Johnson, who will reportedly take home more than $100 million, plus any prize money he wins, to join the new league. At No. 15 in the world, Johnson would be the highest-ranked player in the field, but No. 72 Mickelson, with his career accomplishments and popularity, may be a bigger deal for the new company. great wealth. In the PGA Tour’s inaugural Player Impact Program, which pays out bonuses based on performance and market value, Mickelson is second behind Tiger Woods.

After Johnson, LIV Golf’s second-ranked player is South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen (21), followed by fellow American Kevin Na (34). A 38-year-old player who has been a regular on the PGA Tour since 2005, Na Say He is resigning from the tour to avoid possible “disciplinary action and legal action”. The Associated Press reported that managers of Oosthuizen, Sergio Garcia, Charl Schwarzer and Brandon Grace also said they had also resigned from the tour.

John Feinstein: Phil Mickelson’s self-inflicted debacle getting sadder

PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan said any golfer who joins LIV Golf could be permanently banned, and the tour did not allow its golfers to participate in this week’s event. Norman countered that Monahan could not legally ban players wishing to play on a different tour.

The PGA Tour has approved several players for the Saudi International, an Asian Tour event in February that Mickelson last played. There, he slammed the PGA Tour for “sitting on hundreds of millions of digital moments,” which he estimates are worth billions of dollars, and charged him and other golfers for using the footage they took on the tour.

“To me, this greed is very disgusting,” Mickelson said at the time.

In Monday’s statement, Mickelson said he intends to “play the majors,” which are not run by the PGA Tour. He is eligible to play in next week’s U.S. Open, but a USGA official said last week that the organization would decide player eligibility on a case-by-case basis.

Last week, RBC announced it was dropping its sponsorship of Johnson and 2010 U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell, who will also play at the new track. Mickelson has also lost a number of sponsors since his comments about the Saudis were made public, including KPMG and Amstel Light.

“I’m ready to come back and play the game I love, but after 32 years, this new path is a fresh start, and at this stage in my career, this new path is exciting for me, and Obviously transformative and ideal not just for myself but for me and my peers,” Mickelson said in the statement. “I also love the progressive format and think it will get fans excited. Just as importantly, it will provide balance and allow me to focus on a healthier lifestyle both on and off the court. I am so grateful for this game and the PGA Tour Everything the game has brought me. I think I’ve given back, but now I’m excited about this new opportunity.”

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: