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", as well as admitting that his allegiance to the reported Saudi Golf League is a ruse to leverage the Tour.
“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."
Understandably, his comments caused reaction among his fellow PGA Professional peers, with Rory McIlroy calling Mickelson's comments: "Naive, selfish, egotistical and ignorant," 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, with Ewen Murray, one of the most recognisable voices on Sky Sports Golf, tweeting, "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."
🗣 "It wasn't a true apology"What did you make of Phil Mickelson's statement about the PGA Tour and proposed Saudi Golf League? ⛳️ pic.twitter.com/x9h0bf4TloFebruary 24, 2022
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, 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!"
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."
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Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.
Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.
Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?
Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°
Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°
Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°
Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW
Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°
Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
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