‘Phil Mickelson has done ax work on his own legacy’ – Six-time grand champion under fire from Saudi comments

Phil Mickelson has destroyed his golfing legacy following his comments on a Saudi-backed separatist league proposal, talkSPORT has said.

The American, in an interview with biographer Alan Shipnuck in November, revealed he had concerns about Saudi Arabia’s human rights record, but was prepared to ignore them. in order to put pressure on the PGA Tour.

Mickelson is under fire for his comments

Mickelson, along with several other veteran players like Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood, have been heavily linked with the Saudi-backed rival idea – led by former world number one Greg Norman.

But support among current stars has been thin on the pitch, with Rory McIlroy calling Mickelson’s comments “naive, selfish, selfish, ignorant”.

Former professional golfer Rob Lee told talkSPORT: “If you had been tasked with doing ax work on the career and image of Phil Mickelson and his standing in the world of golf, you wouldn’t have been able to. do a better job than he did himself.

“It’s unbelievable that he destroyed the image he had and the legacy he had.

“Going back to the obnoxious comments about PGA Tour greed, by the way, he makes up to $100 million in revenue alone, not to mention the corporate sponsorships he got from playing on the PGA Tour. Some people estimate that he may have made around $1 billion.

'Phil Mickelson has done ax work on his own legacy' - Six-time grand champion under fire from Saudi comments
Mickelson is a six-time major champion, but has ‘destroyed his legacy’

“I don’t know where the heinous greed lies in this framework. It’s incredible.

“I don’t think anyone can believe it. The next thing he says is the most amazing thing, it’s amazing.

And in a statement Tuesday, Mickelson apologized but said his comments were made off the record and taken out of context.

He said: “While it doesn’t look like it now given my recent comments, my actions throughout this process have always been in the best interests of golf, my peers, sponsors and fans.

“There is the issue of unsaved comments being shared out of context and without my consent, but the bigger issue is that I used words that I sincerely regret that don’t reflect my true feelings or intentions.

'Phil Mickelson has done ax work on his own legacy' - Six-time grand champion under fire from Saudi comments
Mickelson takes a break from golf

“It was reckless, I offended people and I am deeply sorry for my choice of words. I am beyond disappointed and will do my best to reflect and learn from this.

Mickelson, however, stressed that he felt the way the sport was run needed to change.

He added: “Golf desperately needs change, and real change is always preceded by disruption.

“I always knew criticism would come from exploring something new. I still chose to put myself at the forefront of that to inspire change, taking the successes publicly to do the work in the backstage.

The 51-year-old also said he would take some time off from golf, but did not specify a time frame for his absence.

Any extended break could put his participation in the April Masters in Augusta into question.

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