Phil Mickelson, Fresh From LIV Golf Series, Stays on Message at US Open

BROOKLINE, Mass. – For a golfer who built a career and a reputation as a player who takes a lot of chances, Phil Mickelson played it straight as a Ben Hogan 1-iron on Monday.

Speaking to an overflow crowd of reporters at the Country Club, the site of this week’s United States Open, Mickelson stayed on message throughout his 25-minute news conference, reiterating his commitment to the LIV Golf Invitational Series while also showing love for the PGA Tour. , who suspended him last week and other tour players who have chosen to play in LIV’s inaugural event last week outside London. Twenty have committed to the series so far.

The United States Golf Association, which runs the US Open, allowed Mickelson and any other suspended player to attend this week’s event.

He acknowledged there were “strong emotions and opposition” among those who opposed his decision to join the LIV Golf Series, which is bankrolled by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund. “I respect that,” Mickelson said. “I’m grateful for all that the PGA Tour has given me, but I’m excited about this new opportunity as well.”

Mickelson was asked numerous times about negative comments from fans and other PGA Tour players about his decision. He repeated that he had “utmost respect” for players on the tour and that the friendships he had forged over his professional career would be intact.

“There are players on the tour that I look up to and respect,” he said. “I respect if they disagree. But at the same time, I feel like I made the right decision. “

The LIV series events are the richest tournaments in golf history – last week’s total purse was $ 25 million, with a $ 20 million pot for the individual event and $ 5 million more split into the team competition. Charl Schwartzel, 37, finished first in both individual and team competitions and took home $ 4.75 million. The last-place finisher at each event is guaranteed $ 120,000.

LIV Golf will hold its next event in the United States. It begins June 30 outside Portland, Ore., And is one of five US events.

On top of the prize money is the appearance fees and signing-on payouts individual players have accepted. Mickelson was reported to have taken $ 200 million to take part in the series, and Dustin Johnson, the highest-ranked player participating so far, was reportedly paid up to $ 150 million.

Mickelson stepped away from golf to work on personal and family issues in February after apologizing for comments he made in support of the breakaway tour. He returned to competition last week in the LIV series opener – a 54-hole tournament with no cut – and his game appeared rusty. He finished tied for 33rd at 10 over and said his putting was as bad as he could remember.

The US Open, which Mickelson is playing for at the 31st time, is the only major tournament he has not won, and he has more than his share of heartbreak, finishing as runner-up six times.

Wearing his signature black outfit but missing sponsorship patches after Callaway, Heineken, KPMG and Workday all dropped him after his comments to the journalist Alan Shipnuck, Mickelson confirmed – that the staggering sums he received from LIV Golf made the decision to join much easier. General Chat Chat Lounge

“It’s been pretty public that I’m suspended along with a bunch of other players,” Mickelson said of the PGA Tour’s decision last week, and added: “I’m going to play the LIV events. I am going to play the British Open, but anything other than that would be pure speculation. I don’t know how this is all going to play out. “

Leave a Comment