Phil Mickelson decided to follow the same game plan and showed restraint when he found himself in hot water at the US Open, a nice change for him. Only on Monday he played with microphones, not golf clubs.
The next major is known for being the hardest there is, the only one that eludes him and prevents him from being part of the select group of golfers who have won the Grand Slam. And this will likely be very different from all the others that Mickelson has been to.
For the first time in more than four months on American soil the golfer with six Grand Slam titles will play a tournament, he who is now the face of the new LIV circuit, financed by Saudi interests and which aims to upset the PGA.
It is risking its popularity built on the victories and defeats – all memorable to each other – of the past 30 years.
As for the fans, I understand their opinions and I understand that they feel strong emotions in relation to my choice. And I respect that, ”Mickelson said.
He didn’t add anything to his comments last week, on the sidelines of the new circuit’s first tournament in suburban London, where Mickelson and 16 other golfers challenged the PGA by participating in this series of tournaments led by Greg Normand. “Lefty” reportedly received $ 200 million for the registration alone.
Though PGA players who made the leap on the renegade tour have been suspended, Mickelson says he hasn’t given up on returning to the PGA. On Monday he added that it should be his decision.
“I worked hard to get a seat for life,” said Mickelson, whose six major tournament titles are part of his 45 tour wins. I have also worked hard to give back to the PGA and golf in my 30+ years as a pro and have earned this lifetime membership card. So I think it should be my choice. “
Mickelson answered reporters’ questions for 25 minutes. Sometimes he was hesitant, he stared at the ground, the words did not reach him as easily as usual. He got upset when reporters asked more than one question.
One was about his legacy and if that were to change now, it’s somehow funded by Saudi Arabia.
“I don’t like it when you keep asking multiple questions at the same time,” he replied.
As for his legacy, he says he appreciates what the PGA has done for him and is thrilled with the opportunity the new Tour offers.
“This is undoubtedly an incredible financial commitment,” Mickelson noted.
Otherwise, it didn’t get wet.
To the families of the 9/11 victims – 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis – he told them wholeheartedly, while groups of victims’ families called on Mickelson and other golfers to forgo the LIV tour.
As for his future in the PGA, he feels that all he could say would be speculation. As for potential changes to player eligibility for the US Open, he said they were not to be discussed publicly.
He earned a five-year exemption last year when he became the oldest golfer to win a major tournament by claiming the PGA championship at the age of 50.
PGA Commissioner Jay Monahan commented for the first time since players defected to the competitive circuit. He said he would ask golfers who have quit or are considering quitting if they ever need to apologize for joining the PGA.
Mickelson, who says he hasn’t spoken to Monahan since last October, that there were “a lot of things the PGA has done over the years that (he) agreed with and others disagreed with” and which, despite everything, has always supported the circuit.