Tuesday’s apology by Phil Mickelson for his comments regarding the Saudis and the proposed super league. He claimed that he was off the record and did not intend to share them publicly.
He said, “It was reckless. I offended people. I am deeply sorry for my choices of words.”
Mickelson made his statement at the same time that KPMG was announced by Mickelson as his first corporate sponsor. KPMG stated that this was mutual.
KPMG released a statement saying that they wished him all the best.
Mickelson stated that he was deeply disappointed by the comments made to Alan Shipnuck, author and golf writer. He said, “I’m beyond disappointed and will do everything I can to self-reflect on this and learn from it.”
In explosive remarks Mickelson said to Shipnuck that the Saudis behind a breakaway rival league were “scary mom (expletive),s to get involved in with.”
Shipnuck, who is writing a biography of Mickelson, also said that he was open to collaborating with the Saudis despite their history in human rights abuses. If it meant a change in the PGA Tour, it was worth it.
“We know that they murdered (Washington Post columnist Jamal), Khashoggi, and have a terrible record on human rights. He said that homosexuality is a reason for execution in the country. “Knowing all this, why would you even consider it?” This is a unique opportunity to reshape the PGA Tour’s operations.
Interview conducted in November 2008.
Mickelson stated that he always placed the interests of golf before all else, “even though it doesn’t seem this way now with my recent comments.”
He said that there is a problem with off-record comments being shared without my permission. “But the larger issue is that I used words that I deeply regret and that don’t reflect my true feelings and intentions.
Shipnuck posted on The Fire Pit Collective that Mickelson’s comments last Wednesday that “not one time did he say that our conversation was off the-record, or in the background, or just between us, or anything remotely similar.” He just opened a vein.”
Shipnuck, who was previously a writer for Sports Illustrated tweeted Tuesday that Mickelson’s claim that he spoke off-the-record was “completely false.”
Mickelson also apologized for LIV Golf Investments, a group headed by Greg Norman and funded mainly by the Saudi Arabia sovereign asset fund, presided over by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
He did not mention Jay Monahan, the PGA Tour’s commissioner, or the Shipnuck interview in which he called the a “dictatorship”. Mickelson said that he and three of the top players had paid lawyers to draft an operating agreement for a rival league.
Mickelson’s comments seem to be in line with the tour policy on public remarks that unfairly attack or disparage groups like the tour.
Mickelson, the oldest major champion in history, won the PGA Championship last year at the age of 50. He said he feels pressure and stress more than ever and needs to take some time off.
He did not mention if he would be taking a vacation from golf. Since the Saudi International on February 6, he has not played golf. He has not played since the Saudi International on Feb. 6. He stated, “I am not playing this week. I know that I haven’t been my best. I need to take some time to prioritize the people I love and work on becoming the man I want.”
Mickelson stated that he wouldn’t want to compromise his corporate partners, and he gave them the option of pausing their relationship or ending it.
His statement was centered on his claim that he acted in the best interests of golf, players, sponsors, and fans. However, it does not look like this now, given my recent comments.
He said that he must be held accountable, “despite the fact that I believe some changes have been made in the overall discourse.”
The PGA Tour made some changes to its reward system in the face of the Saudi league threat. They launched a “Player Impact Program” which compensates top players for their popularity and social media impressions. Mickelson claimed that he won the PIP its first year.