‘He Doesn’t Owe The Game Of Golf Anything’ – Thomas On Mickelson Saga

Justin Thomas insists that Phil Mickelson doesn’t owe the game of golf anything, despite his recent outburst and apology

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Speaking at TPC Sawgrass ahead of his Players Championship defence, Justin Thomas has said that Phil Mickelson “doesn’t owe the game of golf anything” despite his recent outburst that accused the PGA Tour of "obnoxious greed" before an excerpt of a biography by Alan Shipnuck was released. Within, Lefty admitted he used his involvement with the rumoured Saudi-backed Super League as leverage against the PGA Tour. 

Thomas added: “I think a lot of people are probably just a little bit upset at how it happened or how he went about it. At the end of the day, he's proven himself in the game of golf. He doesn't owe the game of golf anything. He's done plenty for it and for us. Now I just think it's more of what he wants.”

Mickelson has since issued a public statement in which he said he was “deeply sorry” and “sincerely” regretted his comments. He also said he was to take a sabbatical from the game and is now missing the Players Championship for only the third time since 1992.

Speaking about the possible future for Phil Mickelson, Thomas said: “If he wants to try to come back and play X amount of events or if he wants to try to create his own thing, if he wants to do whatever he's got to do, nobody knows what's going on inside of Phil's head beside Phil, and I think the last couple weeks have proven that more than ever.” The 14-time PGA Tour winner would go on to echo the sentiment of Rory McIlroy by saying: "Hopefully he's doing okay."

PGA Tour Commissioner, Jay Monahan, has said that the "PGA Tour is moving on" and that the "ball is in his court" in respect to Mickelson's future. For this week at least, all eyes will be on the Players Championship as one of the strongest fields in golf assembles to compete for the biggest prize in PGA Tour history.

James joined Golf Monthly having previously written for other digital outlets. He is obsessed with all areas of the game – from tournament golf, to history, equipment, technique and travel. He is also an avid collector of memorabilia; with items from the likes of Bobby Jones, Tiger Woods, Francis Ouimet, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Adam Scott and Ernie Els. As well as writing for Golf Monthly, James’ golfing highlight is fist bumping Phil Mickelson on his way to winning the Open Championship at Muirfield in 2013. James grew up on the east coast of England and is the third generation of his golfing family. He now resides in Leeds and is a member of Cobble Hall Golf Club with a handicap index of 1.7. His favourite films are The Legend of Bagger Vance and Tin Cup.