Phil Mickelson has issued an apology for remarks he made about the proposed Saudi Golf League – and hinted he will take a break from the game.
It emerged last week that the six-time major winner had made a number of comments about the organisers of the breakaway competition in an excerpt from an unauthorised book by the journalist Alan Shipnuck.
The incendiary remarks sent shockwaves around the world of golf, and were followed hours later by Bryson DeChambeau and Dustin Johnson committing their futures to the PGA Tour.
In the latest twist to the ongoing saga, Mickelson released a statement apologising for his “reckless” choice of words and said he was “deeply sorry” – although he avoided any mention his accusation that the PGA Tour was guilty of “obnoxious greed”.
Praising LIV Golf Investments, the Greg Norman-led body set up to drive the expansion of the Asian Tour, as “visionaries”, the 51-year-old claimed he had deliberately positioned himself at the head of the breakaway circuit.
He claimed he had done so, “taking the hits publicly to do the work behind the scenes” to bring about “real change” in the game.
A Statement from Phil Mickelson pic.twitter.com/2saaXIxhpu
— Phil Mickelson (@PhilMickelson) February 22, 2022
“I have made a lot of mistakes in my life and many have been shared with the public,” he said.
“My intent was never to hurt anyone and I’m so sorry to the people I have negatively impacted. This has always been about supporting the players and the game and I appreciate all the people who gave me the benefit of the doubt.”
Addressed the “very public life” he has lived for the past 31 years, Mickelson added: “I have experienced many successful and rewarding moments that I will always cherish, but I have often failed myself and others too.
“The past 10 years I have felt the pressure and stress slowly affecting me at a deeper level.
“I know I have not been at my best and desperately need some time away to prioritise the ones I love most and work on being the man I want to be.”