Golf: Phil Mickelson still wants to play on the PGA Tour

Phil Mickelson decided to stick with the same game plan and showed reluctance when he found himself in hot water at the US Open, quite a change for him. Only on Mondays did he play with microphones, not golf clubs.

The next Major is said to be the toughest there is, the only one that eludes him and prevents him from being in the select circle of golfers who have won the Grand Slam. And this one will likely be very different from any other Mickelson has been involved with.

The golfer with six Grand Slam titles will play a tournament on American soil for the first time in more than four months, he is now the face of the new LIV circuit funded by Saudi interests and aimed at disrupting the PGA .

He’s risking the popularity he’s built on his victories and defeats – all as memorable as the others – over the past 30 years.

“As for the fans, I understand their opinion and I understand that they have strong emotions related to my choice. And I respect that,” Mickelson said.

He did not add to his comments last week, on the sidelines of the first tournament at the new circuit in suburban London, where Mickelson and 16 other golfers challenged the PGA by participating in the series of tournaments led by Greg Normand. “Lefty” was reportedly paid $200 million just for signing up.

Though PGA players who made the leap to the Renegade Tour have been suspended, Mickelson says he hasn’t given up on returning to the PGA. He added on Monday that it should be his decision.

“I worked hard to get a place in life,” said Mickelson, whose six major tournament titles are part of his 45 wins on the tour. I’ve also worked hard to give back to the PGA and golf in my 30+ years as a pro and have earned this lifetime membership card. So I think that should be my choice. »

Mickelson spent 25 minutes answering reporters’ questions. Sometimes he hesitated, staring at the floor, finding words harder than usual. He became irritated when reporters asked more than one question.

One revolved around his legacy and whether that would change now that he’s somehow funded by Saudi Arabia.

“I don’t like it when you keep asking multiple questions at once,” he replied.

As for his legacy, he says he appreciates what the PGA has done for him and is excited for the opportunity the new tour presents.

“This is without a doubt an incredible financial commitment,” Mickelson said.

Otherwise he didn’t get wet.

To the families of 9/11 victims — 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis — he said wholeheartedly with them as groups of victim families urged Mickelson and other golfers to halt the LIV tour.

As for his future in the PGA, he feels all he can say is speculation. Regarding potential US Open player eligibility changes, he said it should not be discussed publicly.

He received a five-year exemption last year when he became the oldest golfer to win a major tournament by winning the PGA championship at the age of 50.

PGA Commissioner Jay Monahan spoke for the first time since players defected to the competition circuit. He said he would ask golfers who have quit or are considering quitting if they’ve ever had to apologize for joining the PGA.

Mickelson, who says he hasn’t spoken to Monahan since last October, that there were “several things the PGA has done over the years that (he) agreed with and others disagreed with,” and that he despite everything the race track has always supported.

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