‘Forget it man,’ Phil Mickelson plays down LIV switch | Golf News

ST ANDREWS: Phil Mickelson and Ian Poulter, two of the biggest names to join rebel LIV Golf Invitational Seriesplayed down suggestions that they received a hostile reception in the first round of the Great Britain Open Thursday.
Briton Poulter was booed off the first tee before shooting a three-under 69 and Mickelson was unfazed by his decision not to attend the Champions Dinner before the tournament.
“The R&A contacted me a few weeks ago and said, look, we don’t think it’s a good idea to go, but if you want to, you can,” said the six-man American champion. occasions.
“I just didn’t want to make a fuss about it, so I said okay. We both agreed it would be better if I didn’t.”
Mickelson, 52, who started with a level 72 at St Andrews, was delighted to be at the birthplace of golf.
“I love being here. Everyone here loves golf, and we find this place very spiritual,” he said. “It’s just a special place.”
Mickelson said he was very comfortable with his decision to join the LIV series.
“I couldn’t be more excited and ecstatic with where I am,” he said. “I love events. I can have competitions Golf in my life on a fun, exciting, different scale that allows me to play and compete while doing the things outside that I want to do.”
He bristled when asked again about the Champions Dinner.
“Never mind, man. Never mind,” he said. “It’s been three times since you’ve asked the same question. I don’t know what to tell you. I couldn’t be happier.”
Poulter, revered in European golf for his inspiring Ryder Cup performances, was booed by a few onlookers, although the Englishman didn’t seem to notice.
“I actually thought I had a great reception on the first tee, to be honest,” he said. “All I heard was applause.”
Poulter reacted with outrage to suggestions that he had been heckled on the course.
“Oh my God, I haven’t heard a single heckling. In three weeks, I haven’t heard a thing,” he said. “You can write whatever you want about being heckled and booed.”
Poulter said his relationship with other players was unaffected by his decision to join the LIV breakaway.
“We may have a difference of opinion, but they are my friends,” he said. “You’ve been golfing with these guys for over 20 years or 10, 15 years, you’ve been on a lot of teams with them.
“We are always friends, regardless of the landscape and wherever you play golf.”
Poulter, 46, won’t be distracted as he tries to win his first major title.
“I’m here to play golf. This could probably be my last open championship at St Andrews, so I’m trying to enjoy it despite the questioning,” he said.
“I shot three cents. I was pretty happy. I was nice and relaxed.”

Michael C. Ford