Report: Phil Mickelson To Play All Eight Saudi League Events

Phil Mickelson has reportedly signed an agreement to play in all eight Saudi-backed Series events, beginning in at the Centurion Club in June

Phil Mickelson stares into the distance at the Saudi International
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Per a report in the Telegraph, there are growing concerns within the PGA Tour that Phil Mickelson has signed an agreement to play in all eight of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series events; with Lefty set to be the face of the likely legal battle if and when the PGA Tour begins to suspend players for their participation.

The 51-year-old has requested a release from the PGA Tour to play in the opening Series event at the Centurion Club in June with sources reporting that he has received $30m up front and must either appear in each Series event or pay back a percentage of that fee (with a possible penalty). 

As per PGA Tour precedent, it is expected that Commissioner Jay Monahan will grant permission for members to play in the Series opener at the Centurion Club but deny further requests as they clash with PGA Tour events in North America. Five of the eight events are set to take place in the USA, almost guaranteeing further friction and legal battles between the PGA Tour and the Greg Norman-fronted Series as the year progresses.

Norman and the LIV Golf Invitational Series took a significant setback earlier in the year after shocking revelations revealed Phil Mickelson's involvement was used purely for leverage against the PGA Tour and its position with player media rights; comments he later backtracked in a public apology leading to his sabbatical. The six-time Major champion subsequently missed the Masters and is yet to play competitively since February. Norman however, has since admitted the door is open for Mickelson and the Saudi-backed Series. 

“It was a kick in the teeth, there's no question about it," Norman said. "It was a gut punch - we were so close. On that Tuesday we had our strength of field ready to go and the PGA Tour heard about this and threw a giant redwood tree in our roadway. And they did, there's no question about it. They created a disruption by putting that information out, all those comments about Phil out there.”

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Mickelson looks set to end his hiatus after registering to defend his PGA Championship title next month alongside the only Major that stands between him and the Career Grand Slam - the US Open. America's national Open will take place one week after the Saudi-backed Series opener at the Centurion Club where the 51-year-old is expected to take part. 

Based on recent reports, it would seem Lefty will be joined by Ryder Cup stalwart, Sergio Garcia. The Spaniard is said to have risked any future involvement in the Ryder Cup by applying to the PGA Tour for a release to compete in the $25m Series opener. This is particularly significant as Garcia remains the youngest player to play in the Ryder Cup and in 2021, became Europe's all-time leading scorer when he surpassed Nick Faldo's record. 

The Series opener is set to be headlined, according to reports, by highest-ranked player, World No.15 and former Open champion, Louis Oosthuizen. The South African is also said to have requested a formal release with the likes of Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Kevin Na rumoured to have done the same. World No.1053, Robert Garrigus, confirmed his involvement last week.

James Hibbitt

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.