PGA of America hopes to avoid ‘circus’ with potential Phil Mickelson appearance in upcoming flagship

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The PGA Championship is about a week away from kick-off, and the prospect of Phil Mickelson returning to the golf course for the event has surprised PGA CEO Seth Waugh.

It’s unclear if Mickelson will actually be involved but he has been listed in the field along with Tiger Woods, according to PGATour.com. Lefty offers to play in the main event as well as the first LIV Golf next month. His connections to the rival golf league that Saud finances, and his published statements about Saudi Arabia, have been controversial. He has not played in any event since February.

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Phil Mickelson finished 16th during the final round of the PGA Championship on May 23, 2021 at Kiawah Island, South Carolina.
(AP Photo/Matt York)

Mickelson won the PGA Championship last year – the second time he’s won the championship.

Wu said in a recent interview on the “Five Clubs” podcast that he hopes to avoid a chaotic atmosphere at the Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

“I hope what we can do is get that. [the press conference] Before raising the flag, Waugh said, via The Comeback. The idea is if he’s playing, if he’s capable and lets him… he’ll definitely have to stand up to the media. But I hope it’s Monday or Tuesday…what we’re trying to do is give a major tournament, not a circus.”

Mickelson drew chaotic crowds at last year’s PGA Championship in South Carolina, which frustrated Brooks Koepka and forced the league to apologize.

Phil Mickelson during a training tour before PIF Saudi International on February 1, 2022, in Al Muruj, Saudi Arabia.

Phil Mickelson during a training tour before PIF Saudi International on February 1, 2022, in Al Muruj, Saudi Arabia.
(Oisin Keniry / Getty Images)

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Mickelson sparked some controversy when his observations about Saudi Arabia were published in an interview with author Alan Shipnock, and his book Phil: The Rip-Roaring (and Unauthorized!) the most colorful biography of the golf star is due to be released this month.

Shipnuck posted a story based on a phone interview on The Firepit Collective.

“She’s a scary mom to get involved,” Mickelson reportedly said. “We know they were killed [Washington Post reporter Jamal] Khashoggi has an appalling human rights record. They execute people there for being gay. Knowing all this, why am I even thinking about it? Because this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to reshape how the PGA Tour works.

Phil Mickelson competed in the PIF Saudi International Championship on February 5, 2022 in Al Morouj, Saudi Arabia.

Phil Mickelson competed in the PIF Saudi International Championship on February 5, 2022 in Al Morouj, Saudi Arabia.
(Oisin Keniry / Getty Images)

“They were able to overcome manipulative, coercive and strong-arm tactics because we, the players, had no sanctuary. Nice guy like [PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan] It comes as, unless you have leverage, it won’t do the right thing. Saudi money has finally given us that leverage. I’m not even sure I want [the Saudi golf league] To achieve success, but just the idea of ​​it allows us to get things done using [PGA] a trip.”

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Mickelson later apologized, saying, “I am deeply disappointed and will do everything in my power to self-reflection and learn from this.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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