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Phil Mickelson issued a public statement in which he said he was “deeply sorry” and “sincerely” regretted his recent comments. His comments appeared in a Fire Pit Collective article by Alan Shipnuck, the author of an upcoming Mickelson biography. Lefty spoke about how he has been involved with LIV Golf Investment, the Saudi-Arabia Public Investment Fund start-up headed by Greg Norman, and the start of a rumoured Saudi-backed breakaway golf league but was only doing so for leverage against the PGA Tour. He also referred to the Saudis as “scary mother********,” after recently accusing the PGA Tour of “obnoxious greed.”
Mickelson, a six-time Major champion, received widespread criticism from his peers. Rory McIlroy described Lefty’s remarks as “naïve, selfish, egotistical and ignorant” and admitted that he would be “rethinking his position and where he goes from here.” McIlroy was joined by Billy Horschel, who described the comments as “idiotic” and that “some of the statements he made are lies, are false.”
Since the public statement, KPMG have removed their association with Mickelson. The wider golfing community have also had their say. Dan Rappaport, Staff Writer at Golf Digest, said, “One thing a tour player said to me last week about Phil Mickelson, anonymously, has stuck with me. This is nothing new. The world is just starting to see what we’ve known.”
Ewen Murray, one of the most recognisable voices on Sky Sports Golf, said, "Having watched Phil Mickelson for 30 years, admired his undoubted talent, and marvelled at his excellence, his sheer brilliance and his outstanding short game, how on earth can it come to this?. So terribly sad, so desperately unnecessary, so stupid."
Golf Channel Analyst, Brandel Chamblee, said "I really appreciate Phil’s talents as a golfer, but given his position in the game what Phil did that Sunday night in the press room at the 2014 Ryder Cup was one of the worst moments in golf’s history… until his most recent comments to Huggin and Shipnuck." He would go on to describe his apology as "damage control" on-air.
Lisa Cornwell, a former All-American and now part of the Golf Channel on-air team, said, “All this talk about Phil Mickelson, Saudi Golf, LIV Golf, PIP etc. reminds me. LPGA players don’t even get health insurance – they get a $1850 (yearly) stipend toward their insurance."
One Twitter user recalled Lefty's heroics at the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island just nine months ago. "Why not apologize to the tour that has helped enrich you to the tune of nearly half a billion in net-worth? What are your complaints about the PGA? What needs to be changed? You've really never addressed this. Less than a year ago EVERYONE was rooting for you at the PGA, now...."
Jason Sobel, Golf Writer at Action Network, said, "As he's done for years, the man who believed he was the smartest person in the room tried to play chess when he thought everyone else was playing checkers. This time, though, it backfired, leading to a clumsy apology and an unresolved future."
One user responded by saying, “Don’t say anything negative. My mate questioned his reasoning and motives and got this [blocked]. Positive comments only please. We must not question big Phil and his choices or voice an opinion.” Paige Spiranac was one of those who was blocked after criticising Mickelson's involvement with the Saudis. She was forced to ask for a copy of the apology from another Twitter user as a result. A fan joked, "No one will see the apology as he's blocked everybody."
Doug Ferguson, renowned Golf Writer at AP Sports, compared the ongoing situation with Phil's beloved style of play. He said, "the commercial slogan associated with Phil Mickelson for years is never more true than it is now, minus the anticipation of something extraordinary. What will Phil do next?" Lefty has said he will take some time away from the game and gave no indication as to when he will compete on the PGA Tour again. With the Masters just a short while away, you'd have to think the past champion would have one eye on Augusta National.
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How Golf Twitter Reacted To Mickelson’s Apology
As he's done for years, the man who believed he was the smartest person in the room tried to play chess when he thought everyone else was playing checkers. This time, though, it backfired, leading to a clumsy apology and an unresolved future.https://t.co/zUPEuCgCIPFebruary 23, 2022
All this talk about Phil Mickelson, Saudi Golf, LIV Golf, PIP, etc. reminds me:#LPGA players don’t even get health insurance — they get a $1850 (yearly) stipend toward their insurance.February 22, 2022
One thing a tour player said to me last week about Phil Mickelson, anonymously, has stuck with me. “This is nothing new. The world is just starting to see what we’ve known.”February 22, 2022
Is an apology really an apology if the person is only sorry for any offence what they did or said might have caused or being caught, rather than being sorry for the actual thing they did or said? This question relates to politics, sport, life. Plenty of fake apologies these days.February 23, 2022
Having watched Phil Mickelson for 30 years, admired his undoubted talent, and marvelled at his excellence, his sheer brilliance and his outstanding short game, how on earth can it come to this?. So terribly sad, so desperately unnecessary, so stupid.February 22, 2022
In the span of 9 months, Phil Mickelson has gone from the guy who literally everyone was pulling for at the PGA to a villain no one wants to succeed in his latest endeavor. Quite a turn of events!February 20, 2022
Man this apology is unreal:-Blames the journalist-Apologizes to the "visionary" Saudis-Claims "best interest of golf"-"I knew I'd get blamed for this"-Claims to be letting sponsors off the hook-Claims it's about supporting the players-Takes credit for changes already madeFebruary 22, 2022
He made himself both the victim and hero of his own press release. I wasn’t supposed to print his on-the-record comments yet Phil says,”I still chose to put myself at the forefront of this to inspire change, taking the hits publicly to do the work behind the scenes.” Ohh-kay. 🤔 https://t.co/wCjNUAdtwkFebruary 23, 2022
Is an apology really an apology when you’ve blocked at least 50% of the target audience of your apology?February 22, 2022
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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.
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