The PGA Tour suspended Phil Mickelson and the rest of its members for joining LIV Golf last week, and commissioner Jay Monahan said that he had decided to walk away from the Tour. Given the strength of comments from PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan in the past week regarding LIV Golf – a new one with players from the PGA Tour competing on it, the chances that Mickelson will soon be resumed in his PGA Tour career appear nothing short of a longshot. The six-time major champion said that although the Tour players are suspended, a few opted out before last week’s Opening Tee shootout, and he has not ruled out playing on the PGA Tour again. Phil Mickelson has been suspended from the PGA Tour for playing a competing championship; he is a headline draw at Saudi-backed golf series LIV – but still believes the decision on whether or not to play in another tour event should be up to him.
Mickelson has faced tremendous criticism on both the golfing and political grounds, and the PGA Tour has suspended all 17 of its members, including Mickelson, that competed at the first-ever LIV Golf tournament in London last weekend. For families of those killed in the 9/11 terror attacks — all but four of the 19 hijackers were Saudi citizens — he expressed profound compassion, even when the victim’s organisation demanded that Mickelson and others withdraw from the Saudi-funded LIV Golf Series. Phil Mickelson stirred up fury in February when he made remarks to golf writer Alan Shipnuck that called Saudi backers of LIV Golf appalling, with a poor record on human rights.
Yet he remains enthusiastic about the new series because it offers a chance to pressure the PGA Tour into improving the Tour. Then, golf writer Alan Shipnuck published a passage from his bio of Mickelson, which quoted him calling the Saudis behind the new championship the scary mothers-(expletive) and saying that he was ready to participate in the effort to gain leverage to force changes to PGA Tour.
Phil Mickelson’s defection to the LIV tour followed comments in February reported by a PGA Legends biographer, who quoted him admitting Saudi human rights abuses were not enough to deter him from joining the new league. Of course, sharing Mickelsons views on the unsavoury greed of the PGA Tour, as well as his feelings on LIV golf invitational series funder, Saudi Public Investment Fund, with writer Alan Shipnuck, is what got Mickelson into hot water in the first place, earlier this year. In his statement later Monday with ESPN, Strada said that Mickelson and other LIV Golf Invitational Series players should be ashamed of their actions.