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The fallout continues following yesterday’s dramatic statement from Phil Mickelson, where the current PGA Champion apologised for his recent remarks concerning the reported Saudi Golf League and the PGA Tour. In the immediate aftermath, it was announced that Mickelson and long-term sponsor KPMG had agreed to go their separate ways. Meanwhile, the statement was also greeted with speculation that the PGA Tour may suspend Mickelson, a situation the organisation has yet to comment on. To add to the uncertainty, Mickelson also hinted in his statement that he’s ready to take a step away from the game for a time.
Leading figures in the golf world have been having their say on the matter, including Sky Sports commentator Ewen Murray. The 67-year-old Scot is himself a former professional and has an association with the game of over 50 years. He reacted to the news on Twitter, expressing his sadness at the recent turn of events. Murray 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.”
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
Murray is just one of a growing list of influential media figures adding their say to a story that’s likely to run and run. Journalist Alan Shipnuck, who has written an upcoming biography on Mickelson, also used Twitter to respond to the statement, disputing part of it. Meanwhile, other big names have spoken out, including Golf Digest’s Dan Rapaport, the Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee and Action Network’s Jason Sobel.
However, Murray’s words, in particular, will resonate with admirers of Mickelson’s talent, given the American’s long list of achievements in the game. Over the 30 years Murray refers to, Lefty has won six Majors and has racked up 45 PGA Tour victories – the eighth highest of all time. It remains to be seen when Mickelson will next return to the fairways, with The Masters seeming the most likely in April. However, with no end to the controversy in sight, for now, Murray’s comments will surely speak for many: ‘how on earth can it come to this?’ indeed.
Mike has 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on sports such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the sport’s most newsworthy stories. Originally from East Yorkshire, Mike now resides in Canada, where the nearest course is less than a mile from his home. It’s there where he remains confident that, one of these days, he’ll play the 17th without finding the water. Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.
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