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Phil Mickelson will play in the LIV Series opener in St Albans this week, marking his return to golf after five months.

Mickelson has not played a competitive round of golf since February, following the publication of comments where he criticised the Saudi regime.

But he has now been confirmed among the 48-man field for this week’s curtain-raiser at Centurion Club in St Albans.

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“Phil Mickelson is unequivocally one of the greatest golfers of this generation,” said LIV chief executive Greg Norman.

“His contributions to the sport and connection to fans around the globe cannot be overstated and we are grateful to have him. He strengthens an exciting field for London where we’re proud to launch a new era for golf.

“Our International Series qualifiers have earned an incredible opportunity to compete in LIV Golf’s new format, and I’m eager to watch all of them tee it up next week.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for many of them, and that has been a driving force behind our mission at LIV – creating player pathways and new opportunities to play the game we all love.”

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Mickelson’s participation in the controversial rebel league had been doubtful after quotes were published where he admitted using the scheme for “leverage” over the PGA Tour, while he also criticised the Saudi government – the main financial backers of the LIV Series.

The 51-year-old has not played since announcing he would take a break from the game in the wake of the scandal.

In a statement posted on social media, Mickelson reiterated the apology he published in February, and spoke of a “fresh start”.

He also announced his intention to play in the majors, and paid tribute to the PGA Tour.

“I have been engaged and intentional in continued therapy and feel healthy and much more at peace,” he added.

“I realise I still have a long way to go, but I am embracing the work ahead.”

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