'Congratulations. You’ve Been Bought' - Chamblee Blasts Mickelson Again

Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee hits out again at Phil Mickelson and Greg Norman over their LIV Golf involvement

18 Things You Didn’t Know About Brandel Chamblee
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Brandel Chamblee didn’t hold back when he laid into Phil Mickelson again following his latest comments about loving life at LIV Golf and singing the praises of his new employers.

Mickelson lambasted the PGA Tour in his latest news conference, saying it was trending downward, while voicing his happiness at being on "the right side" of the future of golf.

That hit a nerve with Chamblee, one of LIV Golf’s staunchest critics who has continually hit out at Mickelson and Greg Norman for shying away from questions about the Saudi regime funding their new tour.

“It’s lost on them (Mickelson and Norman) that they’re working for a dictator and dictators are notoriously good at manipulating people to the incremental change it takes to get to tyranny,” Chamblee said on the Golf Channel.

“Greg Norman and Phil Mickelson seem like they’ve formed this intense relationship that’s going to be durable because it’s based upon a common enemy, which is the truth. 

“It’s a shocking contradiction isn't it, MBS (Mohammed bin Salman), as he claims to be this man of reform, but in the same breath he’s ordering the murder, the jailing and the torture of people who are fighting for reform.

“That is the person who controls the fund, who funds the tour, that Phil Mickelson says now that he “he loves the side he’s on”.

“Congratulations. You’ve been bought.”

Chamblee has continually blasted Mickelson for his involvement with LIV and his vocal backing of the Saudis, previously calling him "a highly paid ventriloquist puppet involved in a sports-washing operation."

Chamblee also called for Mickelson and Norman to be kicked out of the World Golf Hall of Fame through their actions and failing to acknowledge the problems with the Saudi regime.

“I’ve watched them all year long wiggling in their press seats and trying to dissolve the difference between words and deeds,” Chamblee added.

"Both of them have been compelled to confront the figure of Mohammed bin Salman, MBS, and neither of them have been able to rationalise their alliance with a murderer. 

"So they throw their arms up in the air and say, ‘We’re not politicians.’ But yet every single chance they get, they are politicking their talking points.”

Mickelson also tried to wriggle out of comments made to golf journalist Alan Shipnuck about the Saudi Arabia leaders, which he has previously apologised for, by intimating that they were never made for publication.

It was not a denial of the conversation, but a hint that Mickelson did not want his words made public, and that too drew a response from Shipnuck’s colleague Michael Bamberger on the Fire Pit Collective website.

“Phil has always been a wild mix of everything,” Wrote Bamberger. “But this thing from his LIV Golf press conference from the Royal Green Golf and Country Club in Jeddah is in my opinion an effort to rewrite history by way of bulls***t.”

“Mickelson is not denying that he talked to Shipnuck, my long time colleague and friend. He’s not denying that he said disparaging things about other Saudis.

“But what Mickelson said is to me an obvious effort to confuse the broad sports-following public, not those of us in its weeds.

“Normal people don’t have the time to try to understand the nuance of what Phil said. He must know that some people will take his comment to mean he didn’t talk to Shipnuck at all.”

Paul Higham

Paul Higham is a sports journalist with over 20 years of experience in covering most major sporting events for both Sky Sports and BBC Sport. He is currently freelance and covers the golf majors on the BBC Sport website.  Highlights over the years include covering that epic Monday finish in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and watching Rory McIlroy produce one of the most dominant Major wins at the 2011 US Open at Congressional. He also writes betting previews and still feels strangely proud of backing Danny Willett when he won the Masters in 2016 - Willett also praised his putting stroke during a media event before the Open at Hoylake. Favourite interviews he's conducted have been with McIlroy, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn, Rickie Fowler and the enigma that is Victor Dubuisson. A big fan of watching any golf from any tour, sadly he spends more time writing about golf than playing these days with two young children, and as a big fair weather golfer claims playing in shorts is worth at least five shots. Being from Liverpool he loves the likes of Hoylake, Birkdale and the stretch of tracks along England's Golf Coast, but would say his favourite courses played are Kingsbarns and Portrush.