Phil Mickelson lastly confronted as much as the media on Wednesday to handle his function within the LIV Golf saga.
The six-time Main winner will return from a four-month hiatus at LIV Golf’s inaugural occasion on Thursday, accepting £160million to entrance up the controversial venture, and in addition plans to play the US Open subsequent week.
He skipped the Masters and his PGA Championship defence after sparking outrage with feedback in regards to the Saudi-backed sequence in February.
Regardless of threats of lifetime bans from the PGA Tour, the breakaway venture has gathered momentum, selecting up world no.15 Dustin Johnson, who has since resigned from the Tour, though nearly all the world’s prime gamers have stayed away for now.
These accepting huge sums of cash to compete, together with Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Sergio Garcia, proceed to face accusations of sportswashing – and Mickelson himself described the Saudis as ‘scary m************’ in an notorious chat together with his unofficial biographer.
On Tuesday, Graeme McDowell mentioned he was ‘proud to assist Saudi Arabia on their journey’ whereas addressing the ‘reprehensible’ alleged homicide of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and different gamers provided unconvincing arguments about attempting to ‘develop the sport’.
Talking on the Centurion Membership in St Albans, the place the primary occasion takes place, Mickelson mentioned: “I don’t condone human rights violations in any respect. I’m definitely conscious of what has occurred with Jamal Khashoggi and I believe it’s horrible.
“I’ve additionally seen the nice that the sport of golf has finished all through historical past and I consider LIV Golf goes to do loads of good for the sport as effectively.”
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The 51-year-old will captain one of 12 teams at the first LIV Golf event, which will feature 48 players, 54 holes, shotgun starts and no cut line.
The USGA has confirmed LIV Golf’s players will be allowed to compete in the US Open at Brookline next week – but their future at the Ryder Cup, other Majors and the PGA Tour remain in doubt.
Mickelson refused to say whether he had been banned by the Tour after accusing it of ‘obnoxious greed’ and admitting he only sided with the Saudis to gain leverage back in February.
However, while Johnson, Garcia, Kevin Na, Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel and Branden Grace have all resigned from the Tour to avoid sanctions, Mickelson intends to remain a member.
“I earned my lifetime membership and I don’t want to give that up, I don’t believe I should have to,” the American added.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I have earned that [lifetime membership] and I don’t plan on just giving that up.”
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