July 23, 2024

A purported remark from Phil Mickelson caused some of the game’s biggest names to be cautious of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Tour, which nearly prevented it from taking off.

Before LIV Golf even got underway, six-time major winner Phil Mickelson almost destroyed the tournament by calling Saudi leaders “scary motherf*s.”

Several prominent golfers, including the 53-year-old, abandoned the PGA Tour to join the Saudi rebels. However, he almost scared some of them away with his accusation, which involved the murder of Washington Post writer Jamal Khashoggi in 2018 and the kingdom’s treatment of the LGBT community.

“A frightening group of motherf*s,” Mickelson reportedly called the Saudi leaders. He has since asserted, though, that he “never did” the terrifying interview with his biographer Alan Shipnuck.

The American reaffirmed, “I never conducted an interview with Alan Shipnuck.” Furthermore, I have had nothing but the best experiences with every person connected to LIV Golf, and I have the utmost respect for each and every one of them.

Though Mickelson was among the first well-known players to switch to LIV Golf and never look back, he has yet to win on the new Tour. His HyFlyers, five shots behind the top two teams in Adelaide, ended up third, missing out on the team title.

However, Brendan Steele, Mickelson’s teammate, did secure his first LIV victory in Adelaide by winning the individual title, which greatly bolstered HyFlyers. Before paying homage to team captain Mickelson, the American was leading by one shot going into the last eighteen holes on Sunday.

“Yes, I rely a lot on Phil for everything,” Steele admitted. “With how to approach things and how to hit shots around the green. He is among the greatest players of all time, and he is able to counsel me. I will accept his advice if he gives it to me. He’s really helped me with wedge play, short game, mental game, and I really want to listen to him. I’m sitting up here largely because of him, and he’s just helped me become more confident in myself.”

There are plans to combine the PGA, LIV Golf, and DP World Tour, putting an end to the years-long rivalry that has shaken the sport since the breakaway tour. Although Mickelson and PGA supporter Rory McIlroy don’t always agree, they do seem to agree that LIV Golf should be disrupted.

“I understand that this is not the final word, but the PGA Tour’s TV ratings are down 20 percent overall this year,” he remarked. That represents a fifth. That is significant. In terms of viewers, I would say that LIV’s numbers are also not very good. I believe that the fighting and other events that have occurred over the past few years have simply worn people out to the point where they are losing interest in men’s professional golf, which is bad for everyone.

With Augusta excluded, I believe that each major championship kind of exists in its own universe, so it will be fascinating to watch how the other three or even the four perform. When all of the world’s best players are competing, there is a case to be made for saying, “Okay, we need to get this thing back together.” It will be fascinating to see how the major championship numbers perform in comparison to the other larger events.”

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