Phil Mickelson, one of the main recruiters for the Saudi-funded Rival League on the PGA Tour, is ending his four-month break by adding his name to the 48-man field for the LIV Golf Invitations that began this week outside London.
Mickelson will join the 54-hole tournament at Centurion Golf Club with িন 34 million in prize money and $ 5.5 million in individual winners, along with Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia and three other former major champions.
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Mickelson said in a statement posted on social media, “I am ready to come back to play the game I love but after 32 years this new path is a new beginning, which is exciting for me at this stage of my career.”
Mickelson added that he would play the last two majors at The Country Club outside Boston, starting June 16 at the US Open.
He said the “transformative” new league would allow him to focus on a healthy approach to life on the course and outside. Mickelson did not mention the signing fee, but NBC reported that it was close to $ 273 million, with Johnson being paid 3 173 million or more.
Mickelson will be playing for the first time since February 6 at the Saudi International, where he first began to draw attention to how he was inclined when he accused the PGA Tour of being “offensive greed” in an interview with Golf Digest.
Two weeks later, Alan Shipnak quoted an unconfirmed biography of Mickelson, where he acknowledged Saudi Arabia’s human rights abuses, including the assassination of six-time chief champion Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, but said it should be involved if it made sense. Leverage to switch to PGA Tour.
Mickelson added that he and three other top players had paid attorneys to sign the new league’s operating contract. He apologized for the reckless remarks he made without mentioning the PGA Tour.
But then he was off the scene for four months, skipping the Masters and PGA Championships, which he won a year earlier to become the oldest major champion in history at the age of 50.
Mickelson again apologized in Monday’s statement, adding that he was “sympathetic” to those who did not agree with the decision to leave the PGA Tour for a league initially funded by the Saudi Public Investment Fund.
Greg Norman, CEO and Commissioner of LIV Golf Investments, said: “His contribution to the sport and his engagement with fans around the world is invaluable and we are grateful to have him.” “He has strengthened an exciting field for London where we are proud to usher in a new era for golf.”
The PGA Tour has not released any of its 14 members who have signed up for the Rival Series, a list that also includes Louis Ostoizen, Martin Keimer and Charles Schwartzel.
Five other players from the Asian Tour have been added as discounts.
Even as Mickelson was the leader in trying to get players to join, his name was dropped from the original field list released Tuesday. The Daily Telegraph reports that Johnson, the world’s 15th-ranked player, received more than $ 173 million to join.
The decision could mean the end of Mickelson’s career on the PGA Tour because players who are defective could face suspension for violating tour rules by playing abroad without their release.
Mickelson has won 45 PGA Tours in his career and earned about $ 138 million in his career in PGA Tours and PGA Tour Champions. He won his first tour event in 1991 when he was an amateur in the state of Arizona and won his most recent title at the PGA last year.
LIV Golf Invitational is the first of eight such tournaments, five of which were scheduled for the United States, two of which are on courses owned by former President Donald Trump.
At least six players on the field have already resigned their PGA Tour membership. Kevin has not announced his decision on social media. Managers of Garcia, Ostuigen, Schwartzel and Brandon Grace say they too have resigned.
As much as he was promoting a new concept, Mickelson seemed to have let the Saudi League lose momentum through his February interview that insulted the Saudis (the “scary mother”) and insulted the PGA Tour (“A) dictatorship. They split and won. . “)
All the top players, including Johnson – have pledged their support for the PGA Tour. Johnson later changed his mind.
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