Friday, December 9, 2022

Rory McIlroy blasts Phil Mickelson for comments about Saudi golf league

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“I don’t want to kick someone while he’s down, obviously, but I thought they were naive, selfish, egotistical, ignorant,” McIlroy stated of lately revealed remarks Mickelson made a number of months in the past.

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“It was just very surprising and disappointing. Sad,” McIlroy stated Sunday after he tied for tenth on the Genesis Invitational. “I’m sure he’s sitting at home sort of rethinking his position and where he goes from here.”

In his comments, Mickelson described the Saudis as “scary motherf——” with a document of human rights abuses. The 51-year-old celebrity stated he was however prepared to work with them on what has been broadly known as the Super Golf League (SGL, which additionally may stand for Saudi Golf League) as a result of it could present him and others “leverage” in forcing extra concessions from the PGA Tour.

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Mickelson, who received his sixth main title ultimately yr’s PGA Championship, hasn’t performed on the PGA Tour this yr since lacking the reduce final month on the Farmers Insurance Open. He did compete extra lately on the Saudi International, which was staged similtaneously the PGA Tour’s Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

Also skipping Pebble Beach to journey to the Middle East had been Johnson and DeChambeau, and so they had been joined by different notable gamers reminiscent of Xander Schauffele, Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson and Paul Casey. Johnson and DeChambeau reportedly have been provided many hundreds of thousands to defect to the SGL, however on Sunday they each spurned the notion that they may go away the PGA Tour.

Johnson made the stronger assertion, all of the extra so on condition that it was launched by the Tour itself.

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“Over the past several months, there has been a great deal of speculation about an alternative tour; much of which seems to have included me and my future in professional golf,” Johnson stated in his assertion. “I feel it is now time to put such speculation to rest. I am fully committed to the PGA Tour.”

DeChambeau may have given himself some wiggle room by stating that “as long as the best players in the world are playing the PGA Tour, so will I.” The 2020 U.S. Open winner, who withdrew from the Saudi International due to hand and hip accidents, added that he was “focused on getting myself healthy and competing again soon.”

Saying later Sunday that “no one really knew where Bryson stood,” McIlroy instructed reporters: “I was really glad to see DJ and Bryson put out those statements this week. We all want to play against the best players in the world, and they’re certainly two of the best players in the world, and it’s nice to know that they’re committed to playing here and committed to making this the best tour in the world.”

“Who’s left? Who’s left to go?” McIlroy questioned aloud. “I mean, there’s no one. … It’s dead in the water, in my opinion.”

The four-time main winner from Northern Ireland additionally famous that the SGL lacked the assist of Tiger Woods, who in November declared, “I have allegiance to the PGA Tour.”

Lauding Woods, who has been out of motion for a yr after struggling main accidents in a automobile crash, because the “epicenter of the professional [golf] world,” McIlroy stated, “Who knows when he’s going to play again, but if they don’t have his blessing, it’s got no chance.”

In addition to McIlroy, whose public opposition to the Saudi enterprise goes again at the very least two years, different high gamers reminiscent of Jon Rahm, Collin Morikawa and Justin Thomas have stated they’ve no real interest in leaving the PGA Tour.

While on the Saudi International, Mickelson claimed (by way of Golf Digest) that “pretty much every player in the top 100 has been contacted at some point” about becoming a member of the SGL. He made clear that he was sad with the PGA Tour’s possession and administration of media rights to memorable photographs and different moments he and fellow star gamers have authored in tournaments.

“For me personally, it’s not enough that they are sitting on hundreds of millions of digital moments,” Mickelson stated then. “They also have access to my shots, access I do not have. They also charge companies to use shots I have hit. And when I did ‘The Match’ — there have been five of them — the Tour forced me to pay them $1 million each time. For my own media rights. That type of greed is, to me, beyond obnoxious.”

When these comments had been shared on-line, Brooks Koepka — one other elite golfer reported to have been courted closely by the SGL — responded by commenting, “[Don’t know] if I’d be using the word greedy if I’m Phil.”

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