Phil Mickelson has vowed not to return to Detroit after being taken umbrage at an “opportunistic” article written about him this week.
The six-time major champion opened with a three-under 69 in this week’s Rocket Mortgage Classic in the so-called ‘Motor City’.
However, he was all revved up by a story published earlier this week in The Detroit News entitled “Lefty and Dandy Don: How a Grosse Pointe bookie allegedly cheated Phil Mickelson.”
The story, written by Rob Snell, dates back to the federal racketeering trial of Jack Giacalone in 2007, during which a Detroit bookmaker called Don DeSeranno was accused of cheating Mickelson out of half a million dollars.
The recent US PGA champion initially responded to the story on Twitter and, speaking to reporters after his first round at the Detroit Golf Club, expanded on his frustrations.
“I felt like as the PGA champion, I would be able to bring some value and maybe help the tournament out,” said Mickelson. “I feel that Rob Snell made an article this week that was very opportunistic and selfish and irresponsible.
“I was looking at some ways that my foundation might be able to get involved. When you have a divisive voice like that, you can't bring people together, it's very hard to bring people together, and that needs to change because the people here are great.”
Asked if he has made the decision not to return next year, he added: “I don't see that happening. I don't see me coming back. Not that I don't love the people here and they haven't been great, but not with that type of thing happening.
“It was so much effort for me to be here and to have that type of unnecessary attack. Not like I care, it happened 20-something years ago. It's just the lack of appreciation.”