Phil Mickelson issued a surrealist denial.
Mickelson was speaking to the media at this week’s LIV golf tournament in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on Thursday. He was asked how he “made some comments about this country, for which I apologized” and whether he had changed his mind about Saudi Arabia.
“I will repeat, I have not interviewed Alan Shipnock, and find that my experience with everyone associated with LIV Golf has been anything but incredibly positive, and I have nothing but the utmost respect for everyone with whom I have been involved,” said Mickelson.
Shipnuck is Mickelson’s biographer. Before Mickelson joined LIV Golf, Shipnuck relative to saying From Saudis “They are scary mothers to engage with. We know they were killed [Washington Post reporter and U.S. resident 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.
“They were able to overcome manipulative and coercive tactics and strong arm 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 SGL] To achieve success, but just the idea of it allows us to get things done using [PGA] a trip.”
Soon after these comments were released, Mickelson Issued a lengthy apology He said in part, “There is a problem with informal comments being shared out of context and without my consent, but the biggest problem is that I have used words of sincere regret that do not reflect my true feelings or intentions.”
Mickelson’s distinction here appears to be that the conversation he described as “unpublishable” was not an “interview”.
Mickelson eventually joined LIV Golf in a reported deal Worth about $200 million guaranteed.
Subsequently, Shipnuck claimed that LIV CEO and Commissioner Greg Norman He “physically removed” him from Mickelson’s LIV press conference In June at the Centurion Club outside London.
Shipnuck was also not the only target of Mickelson’s comments on Thursday, with the six-times 52-year-old saying he was glad he was on the “winning side” in the ongoing battle between the LIV and the PGA Tour and that he sees the PGA Tour heading down.
“I think going forward you have to pick a side,” Mickelson said. “You have to choose which side you think will be successful. And I firmly believe I am on the winning side of how things will develop and shape in the coming years for professional golf.
“We play against a lot of the best players in the world at LIV and there are a lot of the best players in the world in the world on the PGA Tour. And … until the two sides sit down and debate and work something out, both sides will continue to change and evolve. And I see LIV Golf going up, And I see the PGA Tour going downhill and I love the side I’m on.”