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Justin Thomas has responded to an astonishing admission from Phil Mickelson that he, along with three other players, hired lawyers to help draft the rumoured Saudi Golf League’s operating agreement.
Mickelson hit the headlines ahead of the Saudi International when he claimed the PGA Tour was guilty of “obnoxious greed” in withholding media rights revenue from players. And now it appears he has ensured there will be far more player power if the breakaway circuit that takes inspiration from Formula 1 gets off the ground.
After posting an opening four-under 67 at the Genesis Invitational, Thomas was asked to comment on the latest rumblings coming out of camp Mickelson.
“Seems like a bit of a pretty, you know, egotistical statement,” the 28-year-old said. “I don't know, it's like he's done a lot of great things for the PGA Tour, it's a big reason it is where it is, but him and others that are very adamant about that, if they're that passionate, go ahead. I don't think anybody's stopping them.”
The Saudi Golf League saga is one that’s been ongoing for what seems like an eternity, with Rory McIlroy admitting he is “so sick” of the constant speculation. And that’s a sentiment shared by Thomas who, along with McIlroy and the vast majority of the world’s best players, is committed to improving the PGA Tour and chasing legacy over money.
“I think that's a big reason why I've been in the position I've been in is I've never really gone down that [money] road,” Thomas added. “I have a lot of things I'm focused on accomplishing out here and I'll be the first to say that, yeah, there's plenty of things that I would love to see improve with the PGA Tour, but that's a part of the process.
“All you want to do is better the product and one by one, if we can improve this here, this there and keep getting better, then everybody wins. I'm very, very content with what's going on. The reason I play golf is to create a legacy and win as many times as I can on the PGA Tour.”
While the Saudi Golf League will be without a host of star names, it has been reported that at least 20 players have signed on, with Bryson DeChambeau expected to front the mega-money breakaway series. An official announcement is rumoured to be set for the week of the Players Championship, the PGA Tour's $20 million flagship event.
A lifelong golf fan, Andy graduated in 2019 with a degree in Sports Journalism and got his first role in the industry as the Instruction Editor for National Club Golfer. From there, he went on to enjoy a spell freelancing for Stats Perform producing football reports, and then for RacingNews365 covering Formula 1. However, he couldn't turn down the opportunity to get back into the sport he grew up watching and playing and now covers a mixture of equipment, instruction and news for Golf Monthly's website and print title.
Andy took up the game at the age of seven and even harboured ambitions of a career in the professional ranks for a spell. That didn’t pan out, but he still enjoys his weekend golf at Royal Troon and holds a scratch handicap. As a side note, he's made five holes-in-one and could quite possibly be Retief Goosen’s biggest fan.
As well as the above, some of Andy's work has featured on websites such as goal.com, dailyrecord.co.uk, and theopen.com.
What's in Andy's bag?
Driver: Callaway Mavrik Sub-Zero (9°)
3-wood: TaylorMade M1 (15°)
Driving iron: Titleist U500 (17°)
Irons: Callaway Apex Pro '19 (4-PW)
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM9 (50°, 54° and 58°)
Putter: Titleist Scotty Cameron Newport 2.5
Ball: Titleist Pro V1