Brookline, Massachusetts (AP) —Phil Mickelson stuck to his script and showed restraint when the US Open was in a difficult situation. This is a big change for him. Except Monday, he used words instead of golf clubs.
The major, which is said to be the toughest test in golf, is still coming and is the only test that prevents him from joining the most elite group of golf in a career grand slam. And this one number is very different from what other Mickelson faced.
6 major champions Compete in American soil for the first time in over 4 monthsCurrently the face of a Saudi-funded league aimed at disrupting the PGA Tour.
At risk is his popularity, which has been built up over 30 years for his victory and defeat, and is equally memorable.
“I respect and understand their opinions as to whether fans will leave, and I understand that they have strong and strong emotions about this choice,” Mickelson said. .. “And I respect it.”
He didn’t add anything from his comments outside London last week, where Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and the other 15 went against the PGA Tour rules by competing. Greg Norman’s new LIV golf series It paid the reported $ 200 million just to sign up for Lefty.
Mickelson Tour player has been stopped — Some resigned before the opening tee shot last week — he hasn’t ruled out playing the PGA Tour again. He said on Monday that it should be his decision.
“I’ve worked hard to win a lifetime membership,” said Mickelson, whose six majors are part of his 45 career tour wins. “I’ve worked hard to give back to the PGA Tour and golf games through over 30 years of professional golf, and I believe it’s my choice because I’ve earned that lifetime membership. . “
He wore a black shirt with his personal logo — the 18th green at Augusta National with his arms floating in the air after winning the 2004 Masters in his first major. His image that jumped over. He still has that sloppy beard, no hat, and he asked a question for 25 minutes.
But he sometimes stopped speaking and looked down at his feet before answering. Words didn’t flow as easily as usual. He was frustrated when he felt the reporter was asking multiple questions.
One was about the meaning of heritage and whether he would change now, funded by the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund.
“When you keep asking multiple questions, I don’t like it,” he replied.
Regarding his legacy, he praised what the PGA Tour did for him and said, “I’m excited about the opportunity LIV Golf offers me.”
“I think there is clearly an incredible financial commitment,” he said.
Otherwise he went straight.
For an army of fans who are angry about playing with Saudi Arabian money in a rival golf league, he understands the emotions and respects their opinions.
He told the families of those who died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks (all but four of the 19 hijackers were Saudi Arabian citizens). A group of victims demands that Mickelson and others leave the Saudi-funded LIV Golf Series..
Everything he felt related to his future on the PGA Tour would be speculation. The change to the US Open standard wasn’t what he said publicly.
Last year, at the age of 50, Mickelson was exempted from winning the PGA Championship for five years and became the oldest major champion.
PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan Talked publicly Sunday for the first time since the player went into exile at LIV Golf. In his discussion of funding sources, Monaghan said, “Have you ever had to apologize to a player who has left or is thinking of leaving,’A member of the PGA Tour? 』\
Mickelson said he hasn’t talked to Monaghan since October.
Asked if he felt he needed to apologize for attending the Saudi-sponsored circuit, Mickelson refused to feed.
“The PGA Tour has a lot of things I agree with and a lot of things I disagree with over the years, but I’ve still supported them both ways,” he said.
The other opinion he had about the tour and other governing bodies was, “I said all these little things aloud because it was one of the biggest mistakes I made,” he kept secret. I said I want to keep it.
That was the beginning of all this.
Mickelson was reported by the Golf Digest in February to mention the “unpleasant desires” of the PGA Tour, which received a seven-digit performance fee while in Saudi Arabia.
After that, golf writer Alan Shipnuck Excerpt from his biography about Mickelson It quotes him as calling the Saudis behind the new league “scary mothers- (expletives)” and saying he is ready to get involved so that he can gain leverage to make changes on the PGA Tour. did.
Meanwhile, the 1895 Championship begins Thursday at a heritage-soaked country club as one of the five founding clubs of the USGA.
The story of Saudi Arabia is very popular and the US Open is a retrofit.
“If someone doesn’t bring it out, we can’t go anywhere,” Justin Thomas said. “This is a national open, it’s an incredible place, it has so much history, incredible disciplines, so many stories, but still what all the questions are. It seems like that.
“It’s not right for the National Open. It’s not right for our players,” he said. “But unfortunately that’s where we are now.”
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