The divisions caused by the LIV Golf Invitational Series remain a sensitive subject at St. Andrews this week, or at least that appears the case for Phil Mickelson. ‘Lefty’ is among the rebels who has turned his back on the PGA Tour to join the new Saudi-funded competition but can still compete at The Open.
Having won at Muirfield in 2013, Mickelson would usually be invited to the champions’ dinner and other events held for accredited alumni. However, fans couldn’t help but spot he was absent from Tuesday’s soiree, which was attended by the likes of Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Sir Nick Faldo and last year’s winner, Collin Morikawa.
“The R&A contacted me a couple weeks before and said, ‘Look, we don’t think it’s a great idea you go, but if you want to, you can,'” said Mickelson as he explained the thought process that led him to compete in Fife. “I just didn’t want to make a big deal about it, so I said, ‘fine.’ We both kind of agreed that it would be best if I didn’t.”
However, ‘Lefty’ firmly denied he was in any way sad at golf’s state of affairs, having seen his stock plummet since defecting to the LIV Golf Series: “No, no. Not at all. I think that I couldn’t be more excited and ecstatic with where I’m at. I love the events. I get to have golf in my life and competitive golf in my life on a scale that is fun, exciting, different, and lets me play and compete but still do the things outside that I want to do.”
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