Phil Mickelson is in Saudi Arabia and inflicting a stir.
Mickelson, playing in LIV Golf’s event at the Royal Greens Golf & Country Club in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, mentioned the ever-changing world of golf introduced on by LIV.
“I think going forward you have to pick a side. You have to pick what side do you think is going to be successful. And I firmly believe that I’m on the winning side of how things are going to evolve and shape in the coming years for professional golf,” Mickelson mentioned Thursday.
“We play against a lot of the best players in the world on LIV and there are a lot of the best players in the world on the PGA Tour. Until both sides sit down and have a conversation and work something out, both sides are going to continue to change and evolve. And I see LIV Golf trending upwards, I see the PGA Tour trending downwards, and I love the side that I’m on.”
It was almost a 12 months in the past that Mickelson first discovered himself in sizzling water over feedback he made relating to Saudi Arabia, the nation that funds LIV Golf.
In an interview with The Fire Pit Collective in November 2021, Mickelson is quoted as saying that regardless of Saudi Arabia’s document on human rights, partnering with the regime was a possibility to vary how the sport of golf operates.
“They’re scary m———— to get involved with,” Mickelson is quoted as saying. “We know they killed [Washington Post reporter and U.S. resident Jamal] Khashoggi and have a horrible record on human rights. They execute people over there for being gay. Knowing all of this, why would I even consider it? Because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape how the PGA Tour operates.”
The feedback prompted Mickelson to take a while away from golf whereas sponsors ended their relationship with the six-time major winner.
Mickelson has since mentioned that the dialog was off the document, which he reiterated on Thursday.
“I will reiterate, I never did an interview with Alan Shipnuck [of The Fire Pit Collective],” Mickelson mentioned. “And I find that my experience with everybody associated with LIV Golf has been nothing but invcredibly positive I have the utmost respect for everybody that I’ve been involved with.”
LIV Golf Invitational Jeddah takes place October 14-16.