By Ken Reed

I’ve been a long-time fan of Phil Mickelson. He treats fans and the media better than any pro golfer since Arnold Palmer. He’s known as the best caddie tipper on tour. But his comments about a proposed Saudi-backed alternative pro golf tour were VERY, VERY disappointing. Unless his recent quotes about the Saudi-tour weren’t accurate, or were taken out of context in some way, I am definitely down on Mickelson right now.

“They’re scary m……f…..s to get involved with,” Mickelson said of Saudi Arabia. “We know they killed [Washington Post reporter and US resident Jamal] Khashoggi and have a horrible record on human rights.

“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.

On the other hand, my admiration for Rory McElroy has spiked upwards after his comments about Mickelson’s take on the Saudi tour.

“I don’t want to kick someone while he’s down obviously, but I thought they were naive, selfish, egotistical, ignorant,” he said.

“It was just very surprising and disappointing, sad. I’m sure he’s sitting at home sort of rethinking his position and where he goes from here.”

I get how Phil might want some leverage in order to help change some of the things with the PGA Tour he doesn’t like, but using a corrupt Saudi regime for his leverage is simply unethical and plain wrong.

Here’s hoping that Mickelson is indeed at home rethinking his position.

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans


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