Phil Mickelson hits out at critics of his Saudi appearance

Phil Mickelson

Phil Mickelson has responded to criticism of his decision to play in next month’s Saudi International, telling his detractors: “You’ll be okay.”

Yesterday, Mickelson announced his intention to play in the event, joining a stellar field that already includes defending champion Dustin Johnson, world No.1 Brooks Koepka, and former Masters champions Patrick Reed and Sergio Garcia.

Mickelson’s decision means that he’ll miss the Waste Management Phoenix Open for the first time since 1989.

• European Tour names 'Golfer of the Year'

• Golfers want Prince Andrew's patronages revoked

The Saudi International, first staged this year, has drawn widespread criticism on account of the country’s human rights record, its alleged involvement in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and the participation of its Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in the execution of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018.

Most players chosen to keep quiet amid the controversy.

But not Phil.

INTRODUCING THE BEST DEAL IN GOLF

Last night, he tweeted: “After turning down opportunities to go to the Middle East for many years*, I’m excited to go play and see a place in the world I’ve never been.

“I understand those who are upset or disappointed. You’ll be OK. I’m excited to experience this for the first time.”

* Point of fact: Mickelson played in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship in both 2011 and 2014.

• WATCH - Pro reacts to carding 83

The Guardian’s golf correspondent Ewan Murray replied, telling Mickelson that he could have visited the region without taking the huge appearance fee he and others have reportedly been paid. That prompted this exchange.

The Saudi International takes place at the Royal Greens Golf & Country Club from January 30 to February 2.

Share this Article

share-logo
twitter-logo facebook-logo

Latest Videos See all videos right arrow

play button
CALLAWAY MAVRIK DRIVERS - Should one of these be your new driver?
Callaway
play button
MAVRIK vs EPIC FLASH – Is Callaway’s new driver longer???
Callaway
play button
REVIEW – TAYLORMADE SIM vs SIM MAX
TaylorMade
play button
NEW TAYLORMADE SIM DRIVERS – Why you NEED to try them
TaylorMade
See all videos right arrow

Golf News

Westwood targets Ryder Cup spot as he equals sensational record
Gleneagles raided by thieves
Would you try this? Check out John Smoltz' unique putter!
WATCH – The best hole-in-one you’ll ever see!
David Scott "excited" to take the reins at Dumbarnie Links

Other Top Stories

Tiger Woods puts new irons in the bag
New Fife golf course gets go ahead
REVIEW - Adare Manor, Ireland's rejuvenated masterpiece
Win a spot in the ASI Scottish Open Pro-Am with Hilton
Padraig Harrington targets 2020 Ryder Cup captaincy

Quick Fault 'n' Fixes See all videos right arrow

play button
Rotate behind the ball
Watch
play button
Denis Pugh’s advice for those with a knee injury
Watch
play button
Align your body at address
Watch
play button
Denis Pugh’s ball striking tips
Watch
See all videos right arrow