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Brandel Chamblee has blasted Phil Mickelson following comments made by the six-time major champion ahead of this week’s LIV Golf event in Saudi Arabia.  

Speaking on the eve of the tournament in Jeddah, Mickelson made a series of eyebrow-raising remarks, including his belief that golf, as a sport, is “lucky” to be getting investment from the controversial state’s Public Investment Fund.  

He also aimed a broadside at the PGA Tour, insisting that it is on a downward trajectory and that he “loves” being on the side of LIV. 

Mickelson’s remarks are in stark contrast to comments attributed to him earlier this year by biographer Alan Shipnuck. The American golf writer revealed that the left-hander had described the Saudi government as “scary motherfuckers to get involved with”. 

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Appearing on the Golf Channel, Brandel Chamblee – a long-standing critic of LIV – took the left-hander to task.  

Have you ever heard such flatulant verbage?” said Chamblee. “It wasn’t that long ago he was talking about the atrocities of his now employer and saying they were scary mfers. Now he’s saying, I love the side that I’m on. He and Greg Norman, they both remind me so much of each other. At their best, they were capable of great athletic poety but they’ve both become writers of fiction.  

I’ve watched them all year long wiggling in their press seats and trying to dissolve the difference between words and deeds.

“Both of them have been compelled to confront the figure of Mohammed bin Salman, MBS, and neither of them have been able to rationalise their alliance with a murderer. So they throw their arms up in the air and say, ‘We’re not politicians.’ But every single chance they get, they are politicking their talking points.  

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Chamblee added: “It’s lost on them that they’re working for a dictator and dictators are notoriously good at manipulating people to the incremental change it takes to get to tyranny. Gregr Norman and Phil Mickelson seem like they’ve formed this intense relationship that’s going to be durable because it’s based upon a company enemy, which is the truth.  

It’s a shocking contradiction. MBS claims to be this man of reform but in the same breath, he’s ordering the murder, the jailing and the torture of people who are fighting for reform. That is the person who controls the fund, who funds the tour, that Phil Mickelson says he loves the side he’s on.

“Congratulations. You’ve been bought.


author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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