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Phil Mickelson Requests Release from PGA TOUR With Eyes Set on Saudi Arabia’s LIV Golf Invitational

Phil Mickelson Requests Release from PGA TOUR With Eyes Set on Saudi Arabia’s LIV Golf Invitational article feature image
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Photo by Oisin Keniry/Getty Images. Pictured: Phil Mickelson

The mystery surrounding Phil Mickelson’s future in professional golf came one giant step closer to being solved on Monday, as his agent announced the intention to play on LIV Golf Investment’s alternate tour.

Mickelson officially requested release from the PGA TOUR in order to play at the first event of the Saudi-funded golf tour, which launches its first of eight scheduled tournaments on June 9. It will be the LIV Golf Invitational taking place in London.

In addition, Mickelson applied to play in both the PGA Championship and U.S. Open.

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“Our client client Phil Mickelson is officially registered to play in the PGA Championship as well as the U.S. Open,’’ Mickelson’s agent Steve Loy said, as reported by SI. “We have also filed a request on his behalf for a release to play in the first LIV Golf Invitational in London, June 9-11. This request complies with the deadline of April 25 set forth by the PGA TOUR to compete in a conflicting tour event.

“Phil currently has no concrete plans on when and where he will play. Any actions taken are in no way a reflection of a final decision made, but rather to keep all options open.”

These are the first public comments given by Mickelson and his team since he apologized when comments he made about working with the potential rival series were made public.

“We know they killed [Washington Post reporter and U.S. resident Jamal] Khashoggi and have a horrible record on human rights,” Mickelson said in a biography written by Alan Shipnuck. “They execute people over there for being gay. Knowing all of this, why would I even consider it? Because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape how the PGA Tour operates.”

Mickelson later apologized on Feb. 22. He has not tweeted since.

“I used words I sincerely regret that do not reflect my true feelings or intentions. It was reckless, I offended people, and I am deeply sorry for my choice of words. I’m beyond disappointed and will make every effort to self-reflect and learn from this.”

There are reportedly 15 players ranked in the top-100 of the OWGR who will commit to the LIV Series, which offers enormous prize pools for 54-hole tournaments with each player receiving pay for participating. The main source of funding is the Saudi Arabia government, and the face of the league is Greg Norman.

As for the PGA Championship, Mickelson would be playing as the defending champion. It was his sixth major championship and first since 2013. The U.S. Open is the only major he has yet to win.

The PGA Championship is slated to begin May 19 at Southern Hills.

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