• Jake Klausner

What's Next for Phil Mickelson and the Super Golf League?

Hey guys! It's been a minute since I hopped on the old laptop to write, as I've had a lot of unexpected things happen in my life over the last couple of weeks. I'm not going to get into it, but I'm happy to say that I'm back, and I'm ready to roll!


Although I haven't been writing any material, I've been keeping up with everything going on, and let me tell you, the world has gone to shit.


I could talk about Russia invading Ukraine and Putin being an angry little elf, but I'm a sportswriter, and I'm going to talk about sports.

 

If you've been keeping up with the world of golf, you are probably well aware of Phil Mickelson and the controversy surrounding him and the Super Golf League. In light of recent comments regarding the rumored league and the PGA tour, many of his top sponsors, including Calloway Golf, Workday, and KMPG, have paused or canceled their partnerships with the 51-year-old.


A couple of weeks ago, Mickelson sat down with the Fire Pit Collective's Alan Shipnuck and voiced his reasons for his involvement with the SGL. During the week of the Genesis Invitational, Shipnuck posted explosive comments made by Mickelson, citing his reason for getting involved with the Saudis.


"They're scary motherf---ers to get involved with, we know they killed {Jamal} Khashoggi and have a horrible record on human rights. They execute people over there for being gay. Knowing all of this, why would I even consider it? Because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape how the Tour operates."

In other words, all Mickelson wanted to do was gain leverage on the PGA tour by talking with the SGL. Since those comments surfaced, Mickelson released an apology stating that he needed to take some time to reflect and spend time with the people that care for him the most.



Since the apology surfaced, many of his sponsors paused or canceled their partnerships with Mickelson. Longtime partner KPMG announced they would be parting ways with Mickelson immediately following the apology on Tuesday; Amstel Light and Workday quickly followed suit.


Calloway Golf announced that they would be pausing their lifetime partnership with the left-handed golfer. While Mickelson may have crossed the line with his comments regarding SGL and the PGA Tour, I'm not sure he deserves to lose all of his sponsors.


Yes, it will take some time for him to recover from this, but I still think he deserves a second chance somewhere down the line.


Aside from football, golf is a huge passion of mine, and one of the main reasons I got into golf in the first place was watching Phil Mickelson win his first Green Jacket in 2004. From that moment on, Phil became my favorite golfer. His triumph at the 2021 PGA Championship might be one of the most incredible feats in golf history.


However, due to the negative comments about the PGA Tour, it will take some time for the Tour to give Phil for his actions.


Leading up to the Phil drama, many of the game's top players had already shown their support for the PGA Tour; Guys like Jon Rahm, Patrick Cantlay, Collin Morikawa, Rory McIlroy, and Justin Thomas. Even Tiger Woods, who hasn't played a professional golf event in more than two years, came out and said he would support the Tour.



Last week, Bryson Dechambeau and Dustin Johnson, two other prominent golfers rumored to be linked to the SGL, also backed out, leaving Phil as one well-known golfer left. However, the article may have ruined the chances of a Saudi golf tour that had gained momentum over the past several months. Players talked behind the scenes about its potential and the money involved. Some players even signed up to join.




The SGL is fronted by Saudi Arabia's Private Investment and LIV Golf Investments, run by former Australian world number one, Greg Norman. Norman's company is already a heavy contributor to the Asian Tour, with $300 billion going into the Tour.


With the Super Golf League concerns, PGA CEO Jay Monahan issued a ban on anyone who joins the breakaway golf league. Due to Phil's comments, we likely don't have to worry about the SGL. However, some golfers still believe the Tour will happen.


"I think it's going to still keep going. I think there will still be talk. I think, everyone talks about money. They've got enough of it," said Brooks Koepka. "I don't see it backing down; they can just double up and they'll figure it out. They'll get their guys. Somebody will sell out and go to it."

Even though Phil's comments are a huge blow to the Saudi-backed golf league, the amount of money on the table could be too much for golfers not to be interested in; we will just have to wait and see how this all plays out.


Want more great content from The Pyrrhic? Check these out:

Jake Klausner covers all things sports for ThePyrrhic.com. Keep your eyes peeled for NFL Analysis, World Series Recaps, and more from Jake.


Follow him on Twitter @jake_klausner





Sources:
https://www.espn.com/golf/story/_/id/33354910/this-was-failed-coup-how-phil-mickelson-challenge-pga-tour-backfired-quickly-comes-next

https://abcnews.go.com/US/pro-golfer-phil-mickelson-faces-backlash-comments-saudi/story?id=83050292




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