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At this week's Saudi International, the threat of the breakaway Saudi Golf League is at the highest it's ever been, with multiple players stating that they have signed non-disclosure agreements (opens in new tab).
Arguably, the player most closely associated - publicly at least - with the aforementioned SGL is Phil Mickelson, who not only said that “Pretty much every player in the top 100 has been contacted at some point,” (opens in new tab) but also launched a scathing attack on the PGA Tour over their media rights, stating that: "Their type of greed is beyond obnoxious (opens in new tab)," and that "the Tour forced him to pay $1million to access his shots." The PGA Tour have, so far, declined to comment.
One player who took a dig at Mickelson's comments was Brooks Koepka (opens in new tab)who commented on Instagram: "Dk (Don't Know) if I’d be using the word greedy if I’m Phil….."
But it seems Koepka isn't the only one who has taken a shot at the six-time Major champion, with Golf Channel Analyst, Brandel Chamblee, producing a highly charged piece for the Golf Channel (opens in new tab) accusing Mickelson of being "a highly paid ventriloquist puppet involved in a sports-washing operation."
This wasn't the only shot that Chamblee fired, with the American claiming he: "Cares a lot about his media rights, but apparently not so much about human rights," and that: "If it fell to me to control the PIP fund, I’d rename it the Player Irony Program and give the whole 40 million to Phil for this unctuous utterance."
Chamblee isn't the only one to comment, with Golfweek's Eamon Lynch (opens in new tab)claiming that: "At best, his (Mickelson's) words suggest that what he possesses in self-regard, he lacks in self-awareness."
Mickelson is yet to respond to Chamblee or Lynch's comments.
Matt studied Sports Journalism at Southampton Solent University, graduating in 2019. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly and the PGA, he covers all aspects of the game, from Tour news to equipment testing and buyers’ guides. Taking up the game at the age of six, Matt currently holds a handicap of 3 and despite not having a hole in one…yet, he has had two albatrosses. His favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.
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