'It Still Wasn't A True Apology' - Beem Responds To Mickelson's Statement

Speaking ahead of the Honda Classic, the former Major winner said Mickelson's statement wasn't 'a true apology'

Beem and Dougherty talk
(Image credit: Twitter: @SkySportsGolf)

A lot has been made of the situation with Phil Mickelson and the PGA Tour over the last month. For example, the 51-year-old has called the Organisation out for "obnoxious greed" (opens in new tab), as well as admitting that his allegiance to the reported Saudi Golf League is a ruse to leverage the Tour (opens in new tab).

However, due to the severe backlash of his recent comments (opens in new tab) to journalist and author of Mickelson's new biography, Alan Shipnuck, the six-time Major champion issued a statement (opens in new tab).

“Although it doesn’t look this way now given my recent comments, my actions throughout this process have always been with the best interest of golf, my peers, sponsors, and fans," stated Mickelson. 

"There is the problem of off record comments being shared out of context and without my consent, but the bigger issue is that I used words I sincerely regret that do not reflect my true feelings or intentions. It was reckless, I offended people, and I am deeply sorry for my choice of words. I’m beyond disappointed and will make every effort to self-reflect and learn from this."

Norman and Mickelson talk

Mickelson and Greg Norman, CEO of Liv Golf Investments interact chat at the 2022 PIF Saudi International

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Understandably, his comments caused reaction among his fellow PGA Professional peers, with Rory McIlroy calling Mickelson's comments: "Naive, selfish, egotistical and ignorant, (opens in new tab)" and multiple time PGA Tour winner, Justin Thomas, also stating that it seems like an: "Egotistical statement.”

Many individuals involved with golf also took to Twitter (opens in new tab), with Ewen Murray, one of the most recognisable voices on Sky Sports Golf, tweeting, (opens in new tab) "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."

Now, another Sky Sports pundit has had his say, with 2002 PGA Championship winner, Rich Beem, calling the statement from Mickelson: "Not a true apology."

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Chatting with Nick Dougherty before the Honda Classic, Beemer said: "It's interesting, because not once did he ever apologise to the PGA Tour and come out and support them. There was a lot of apologies and talk about the Saudi League and the PIL. That part was very interesting, because - although he retracted, a little bit, what he said to Alan Shipnuck (opens in new tab), it still wasn't a true apology.

"I know a lot of people read it a little bit differently, but it just didn't scream, like, really sincere - 'I'm sorry about all of this, I don't really mean it, I just want things better for the PGA Tour.' It was more about an apology to the Saudi's, like - 'Hey, sorry I'm having to back off about all of this, but they have forced my hand a bit here in the US.'

"I don't know, Phil is just not being himself. I don't know what it is. I've known him for many years, I haven't been a close friend of his by any stretch of the imagination, but this seems really bizarre to me, even by Phil's standards!"

Beem and Mickelson talk

Beem and Mickelson at the 2007 Nissan Open

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Within Mickelson's statement, the 51-year-old announced that he: "Desperately needs some time away", and it seems that Beem agrees: "The one thing that I did take away, more than anything else, is that he is going to take time away from the game. Not just himself, but his family. I think that is exactly what he needs.

"As I said earlier, I know that Phil has always been a little bit different and that is why we like him - The way he plays the game and interacts with folks on social media, but this is completely different.

"I think the PGA Tour, in some form or fashion, will suspend him, but I also think that he will go willingly, I don't think he will go and push that envelope, I don't think he will try and deny it."

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.