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Phil Mickelson to take part in the opening of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series tournament at the Centurion Club | Golf News

Phil Mickelson to take part in the opening of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series tournament at the Centurion Club | Golf News

Phil Mickelson hasn’t played golf since February after comments he made on breakaway tour; The opening of the LIV Golf Invitational begins this week at the Centurion Club in London

Last update: 06/06/22 20:38

Phil Mickelson has been added to the court for this week's LIV Golf Invitational series opener at Centurian Club

Phil Mickelson has been added to the court for this week’s LIV Golf Invitational series opener at Centurian Club

Phil Mickelson says he returns to golf with “renewed spirit and excitement” as he has confirmed he will be playing in the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational Series tournament at the Centurion Club this week – and future major championships.

Mickelson has been linked to LIV Golf for months but began a self-imposed hiatus from the sport in February – even skipping his PGA Championship title defense – amid backlash over comments he made about the breakaway tour.

The 51-year-old’s public image took a hit when the author of an unauthorized biography says the American golfer told him he was ready to look beyond the human rights record man in Saudi Arabia to gain economic leverage on the PGA Tour.

“I’m excited to start with LIV Golf and appreciate everyone involved. I also intend to play the majors”

Phil Mickelson

Mickelson said in a statement: “First and foremost, I again want to apologize to the many people I offended and hurt with my comments a few months ago.

“I’ve made mistakes in my career in some of the things I’ve said and done. Taking time and reflecting on myself has been very humbling.

“I had to start prioritizing the people I love the most and work on becoming a better version of myself.

“I have spent this time with Amy and my loved ones. I have been engaged and intentional in ongoing therapy and I feel healthy and much more at peace.

“I realize I still have a long way to go, but I embrace the work ahead of me.”

Author and golf journalist Alan Shipnuck explains how the Saudi Golf League can change golf as we know it and how it threatens the PGA Tour

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Author and golf journalist Alan Shipnuck explains how the Saudi Golf League can change golf as we know it and how it threatens the PGA Tour

Author and golf journalist Alan Shipnuck explains how the Saudi Golf League can change golf as we know it and how it threatens the PGA Tour

Mickelson went on to explain some of the reasons he decided to support the LIV series.

He continued: “I’m ready to come back and play the game I love but after 32 years this new path is a new beginning, which is exciting for me at this point in my career and clearly transformative, not just for myself, but ideally for the game and my peers.

“I also love the progressive format and think it will be exciting for the fans. Equally important, it will provide balance, allowing me to focus on a healthier approach to life on and off the course. I am incredibly grateful for what this game and the PGA Tour has given me.

“I’d like to think I gave back too, but now I’m excited about this new opportunity.”

Mickelson added: “I am thrilled to be starting with LIV Golf and appreciate everyone involved. I also intend to play the majors.

“I realize and fully respect that some may disagree with this decision and have strong opinions and I sympathize with that. I have a renewed spirit and excitement for the game.

“I am incredibly grateful for the support of my fans, partners, friends and peers and hope that over time these feelings, relationships and support will continue.”

Paul McGinley says Dustin Johnson's decision to play in the opening event of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series could prove to be a

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Paul McGinley says Dustin Johnson’s decision to take part in the opening event of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series could prove to be a “historic moment in the game”.

Paul McGinley says Dustin Johnson’s decision to take part in the opening event of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series could prove to be a “historic moment in the game”.

Greg Norman, Managing Director and Commissioner of LIV Golf, said: “Phil Mickelson is unequivocally one of the greatest golfers of this generation.

“His contributions to the sport and his connection to fans around the world cannot be overstated and we are grateful to have him.

“He reinforces an exciting area for London where we are proud to launch a new era for golf.”

Other golfers already confirmed for the 48-man event to be held June 9-11 at the Centurion Club include former world number 1 Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and Louis Oosthuizen.

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