Saudi Golf League, Phil Mickelson signs contract, $42m salary, Australians in rebel league, PGA Tour
Phil Mickelson reportedly took a $42 million salary to play the entire rebel Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational series, putting his immediate future with the PGA Tour under a cloud.
And press company reports that some of Australia’s top players have joined, with several unnamed stars reportedly putting pen to paper.
According to The Telegraph in London, Mickelson has joined other big names Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Louis Oosthuizen to join the Super Golf League (SGL).
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The PGA Tour statutes clearly state that no player on their tour can participate in North American tournaments hosted by rival organizations, in this case the SGL.
This means Mickelson would likely be banned from the PGA Tour if he agrees to join the SGL. And while he could probably get away with taking part in competitions organized by the body in other parts of the world such as England, Saudi Arabia and Thailand, if he were to participate in the one of five other tournaments scheduled for America this year, the PGA Tour would likely have no choice but to ban the defending USPGA champion.
Mickelson is said to have already received $30 million (A$42 million) in advance from SGL to perform on their rival tour and requested a release from the US tour. He could then win cash prizes at the Saudi events.
“Fears are growing in the halls of power of the game that Phil Mickelson has already signed up to play in all eight events of the LIV Golf Invitational series and it will be the 51-year-old who will be the face of the likely court battle. if and when the PGA Tour issues bans,” The Telegraph said.
If the six-time major winner does not appear in all eight SGL tournaments, starting with Hertfordshire in England on June 11 at the Centurion Club, he will almost certainly have to repay a percentage of that money.
Incredibly, it’s believed Mickelson could give up defending his USPGA crown in Southern Hills next month in favor of competing at the $25 million (A$35 million) Hertfordshire event.
It would be a sad development considering Mickelson became the oldest major winner in history last year at the USPGA.
World No. 2 Jon Rahm has told Sky Sports he remains hopeful Mickelson will change his mind and still be able to salvage his legacy and “rectify this” by avoiding the Saudis.
“It has to come from him,” Rahm said.
Mickelson has kept a low profile since taking part in the Saudi international in February, which was the last tournament he played in.
Weeks after playing at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club in King Abdullah Economic City, he was quoted in a forthcoming book as saying Saudis were “scary mothers—–to deal with”.
He also said the only reason he ignored the Middle Eastern country’s ‘horrendous human rights record’ was to give it ‘leverage’ as he continued to fight. with the PGA Tour for media rights.