Phil Mickelson to return to golf at first Saudi-backed LIV occasion, starting Thursday in London

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After a four-month hiatus, Phil Mickelson is able to return to aggressive golf, albeit on a “new path” and with a “recent begin” on the LIV Golf Invitational Sequence.Mickelson, a six-time main championship winner, was added to the sphere on Monday for LIV Golf’s first occasion, which is scheduled to begin Thursday at Centurion Membership outdoors London. In an announcement posted to his Twitter account on Monday, Mickelson mentioned he nonetheless plans to play within the majors, however did not say whether or not he would compete in PGA Tour occasions.Mickelson mentioned he plans to play within the U.S. Open, which begins June 16 at The Nation Membership in Brookline, Massachusetts.”I’m wanting ahead to enjoying the U.S. Open and I will be there,” Mickelson advised Sports activities Illustrated on Monday. “I am below the understanding that I will play.”Mickelson, 51, hasn’t performed since lacking the minimize on the Farmers Insurance coverage Open in January. He skipped the Masters and PGA Championship, an occasion he gained final 12 months. He took time away from golf after his controversial feedback in regards to the PGA Tour’s “obnoxious greed” and the Saudi Arabian financiers of LIV Golf prompted a firestorm. Mickelson mentioned he feels wholesome and “extra at peace” after being “engaged and intentional” in continued remedy.2 Associated”I’m prepared to return again and play the sport I like however after 32 years this new path is a recent begin, one which’s thrilling for me at this stage of my profession and is clearly transformative, not only for myself, however ideally for the sport and my friends,” Mickelson wrote in an announcement.”I additionally love the progressive format and assume it will likely be thrilling for followers. Simply as importantly, it can present stability, permitting me to give attention to a more healthy lifestyle on and off the course. I’m extremely grateful for what this recreation and the PGA Tour has given me. I want to assume that I’ve given again as effectively however now I’m enthusiastic about this new alternative.”Mickelson joins a 48-man area in London that additionally contains two-time main winners Dustin Johnson and Martin Kaymer, in addition to 4 different main winners: Sergio Garcia (2017 Masters), Charl Schwartzel (2011 Masters), Graeme McDowell (2010 U.S. Open) and Louis Oosthuizen (2010 Open Championship).”Phil Mickelson is unequivocally one of many biggest golfers of this technology,” LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman mentioned in an announcement. “His contributions to the game and connection to followers across the globe can’t be overstated and we’re grateful to have him. He strengthens an thrilling area for London the place we’re proud to launch a brand new period for golf.”Mickelson, one of the vital widespread gamers of his technology, has already paid a steep value for his controversial feedback. A number of of his longtime sponsors, together with Amstel Gentle, KPMG and Workday, ended their relationships with him. Callaway, which signed Mickelson to an gear deal till the tip of his profession, paused its relationship with him.Mickelson apologized for his remarks, which have been made to creator Alan Shipnuck, who was writing an unauthorized biography of the participant popularly often called “Lefty.” Throughout the dialog, which Shipnuck mentioned happened in November, Mickelson mentioned he was working with two gamers to rent attorneys to attract up working agreements for the brand new circuit, which is being financed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Funding Fund.”They’re scary motherf—ers to become involved with,” Mickelson advised Shipnuck. “… They killed [Washington Post reporter and U.S. resident Jamal] Khashoggi and have a horrible file on human rights. They execute folks over there for being homosexual. Understanding all of this, why would I even take into account it? As a result of it is a once-in-a-lifetime alternative to reshape how the PGA Tour operates.”Mickelson apologized for the remarks once more on Monday.”In the beginning, I wish to once more apologize to the many individuals I offended and harm with my feedback a number of months in the past,” Mickelson wrote. “I’ve made errors in my profession in among the issues I’ve mentioned and executed. Taking time away and self-reflecting has been very humbling. I would like to begin prioritizing the those that I like probably the most and work on turning into a greater model of myself.”Whereas many stars akin to Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth have pledged their loyalty to the PGA Tour, Mickelson and 13 others are leaping to Norman’s new circuit.On Could 11, the PGA Tour denied conflicting-event releases to gamers who requested them to play in London. Tour commissioner Jay Monahan advised participant brokers ultimately week’s Memorial in Columbus, Ohio, that gamers had to decide on between the tour and LIV Golf and could not play on each circuits. Monahan has threatened gamers who competed in London with out releases with self-discipline, together with fines, suspensions and/or bans.On Saturday, longtime PGA Tour member Kevin Na, who is also competing in London, resigned from the tour as a substitute of dealing with potential self-discipline or authorized motion. Garcia, Schwartzel, Oosthuizen and Branden Grace additionally resigned from the tour, their supervisor advised The Related Press on Monday.LIV Golf is providing staggering purses — the whole prize cash is $255 million this 12 months, together with $25 million for every of the seven regular-season tournaments — which can be the richest in skilled golf. The eight-event LIV sequence will characteristic 5 tournaments performed in the US, together with a group championship match-play finale at Trump Doral in Miami from Oct. 28 to 30. The second LIV occasion is scheduled for July 1 to three at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Membership in Portland, Oregon.

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