Mickelson Apologizes to Saudis, Doubles-Down Against PGA Tour

Phil Mickelson issued a lengthy statement on Tuesday afternoon apologizing to the Saudis and the Saudi-backed Super Golf League for comments he made last week. 

Read Full Statement Below

Last week, Mickelson told longtime golf writer Alan Shipnuck that “The Saudis are scary motherf—ers to get involved with. We know they killed [Washington Post reporter and U.S. resident Jamal] Khashoggi and have a horrible record on human rights. They execute people over there for being gay. Knowing all of this, why would I even consider it? Because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape how the PGA Tour operates.” 

Phil Mickelson

But on Tuesday, Mickelson apologized for those comments and claimed they were supposed to be off the record. 

“Although it doesn’t look this way now given my recent comments, my actions throughout this process have always been with the best interest of golf, my peers, sponsors, and fans. There is the problem of off record comments being shared out of context and without my consent, but the bigger issue is that I used words I sincerely regret that do not reflect my true feelings or intentions. It was reckless, I offended people, and I am deeply sorry for my choice of words. I’m beyond disappointed and will make every effort to self-reflect and learn from this,” Mickelson wrote. 

For those who don’t know, “off the record” is an two-way agreement between a journalist and a subject, in this case Mickelson, that must be declared ahead of time. Not afterward. 

“The ‘off the record’ piece of this is completely false and I’ll have more to say on that shortly,” tweeted Shipnuck shortly after Mickelson’s statement was released. 

In his statement, Mickelson also appears to double-down against the PGA Tour. 

“Golf desperately needs change, and real change is always preceded by disruption. I have always known that criticism would come with exploring anything new. I still chose to put myself at the forefront of this to inspire change, taking the hits publicly to do the work behind the scenes.”

Mickelson goes on to say how great LIV Golf Investments is and how great the people he has been working with are. 

At the end, he mentions that he desperately needs some time away. 

Read Statement Below 

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