Phil Mickelson: PGA Tour player refuses to deny he has been banned by American circuit

Phil Mickelson: PGA Tour player refuses to deny he has been banned by American circuit

The American has not played since controversial comments about the Saudi Arabian-funded events were published by his biographer in February

Phil Mickelson refused to deny that he has been banned by the PGA Tour on the eve of playing in the inaugural $25m Saudi-funded LIV Golf event.

The six-time major winner, who admitted in February he made “reckless” comments about Saudi Arabia’s regime, is ending a four-month self-imposed exile.

“I’m learning lessons,” said Mickelson who is a lifetime member of the tour.

“I would be speaking on a PGA Tour matter publicly, which I choose not to do at this time.”

He additional: “I’ve enjoyed my time on the PGA Tour and I have strong opinions on what could and should be done a lot better, but I will make an effort to keep those conversations behind closed doors.

“I don’t want to give up [my lifetime membership of the PGA Tour] but I don’t know what’s going to happen.”

The 51-year-old American also refused to be drawn on the reported $200m signing-on fee he has been given to appear in the LIV Golf events, of which this is the first of eight in 2022, saying “contract agreements should keep private”.

Mickelson lost multiple sponsors and saw his reputation tarnished after he criticised the Saudi regime, however sought to use involvement with the series to gain leverage over the PGA Tour.

He afterward missed the Masters for the first time in 28 years in addition as last month’s US PGA Championship, where he would have been defending champion.

However, he said he intends to play in next week’s US Open and the United States Golf Association, which runs the major, has said it will not stop those competing in the LIV event from playing at Brookline, Massachusetts.

More to follow.

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