Phil Mickelson is closing in on a return to golf – and has applied for permission to play in the controversial LIV Invitational Series.
The six-time major winner has been taking a break from the game for the last two months amid the backlash from comments he made about the Saudi-backed venture, as well as the PGA Tour.
However, the 51-year-old appears to be nearing a return to golf.
Mickelson’s management company Sportfive confirmed he is registered to play in both the PGA Championship, where he is defending champion, and the US Open – the only major he is yet to win.
He has also applied for permission from the PGA Tour to play in the first LIV Series event at the Centurion Club near London in June.
However, Steve Loy, Sportfive’s Americas co-president, insisted Mickelson still has “no concrete plans” for where or when he will play next.
“Any actions taken are in no way a reflection of a final decision made, but rather to keep all options open,” Loy added.
Mickelson has been embroiled in controversy in recent months over his involvement in the breakaway Saudi venture.
He was one of those most openly courted by LIV chief executive Greg Norman, and spoke out in favour of the league, accusing the PGA Tour of “obnoxious greed”.
But comments then emerged ahead of a new book, due to be published by journalist Alan Shipnuck, where Mickelson denounced Saudi Arabia’s human rights record and admitted to using the scheme for “leverage” over PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan.
A host of names who had been believed to be close to signing up to the league then distanced themselves from it, while Mickelson has not played since.