ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – Phil Mickelson revealed on Thursday after his British Open first spherical that the R&A suggested him not to partake prior to now champions actions this week at St. Andrews.
The R&A, the governing physique for the British Open, performed the Celebration of Champions – a four-hole exhibition that includes previous winners – on Monday, and there was a champions dinner on Tuesday evening.
A lot the best way LIV Golf leader Greg Norman was uninvited from coming to St. Andrews this week, Mickelson was knowledgeable the R&A would favor he keep away – apart from taking part in the match.
“The R&A contacted me a couple weeks before and said, ‘Look, we don’t think it’s a great idea you go, but if you want to, you can,’ ” Mickelson mentioned after taking pictures an even-par opening spherical on the Outdated Course Thursday. “I just didn’t want to make a big deal about it, so I said ‘fine.’ We both kind of agreed that it would be best if I didn’t.”
When the identical reporter asked Mickelson, the 2013 British Open champion, a query about not being invited to the festivities, Mickelson bristled and mentioned, “Let it go, dude. Let it go. That’s three times you’ve asked the same question. I don’t know what to tell you. I couldn’t be happier.”
Mickelson, 52, has been the face of the Norman-led, Saudi-backed LIV Golf tour and has acquired essentially the most backlash over it, including from Tiger Woods, who on Tuesday was vocal in his disdain for gamers concerned with LIV.
“I certainly respect his opinion,” Mickelson mentioned of Woods. “I have a lot of respect for him. I respect his opinion. I think everybody’s going to have strong emotions and opinions about it, and I certainly respect his.”
Mickelson, who was paid a reported $200 million by the Saudis, defended his selection to play on the LIV tour.
“I made the right decision for me,” he mentioned. “And I’m enthusiastic about having the chance to play aggressive golf and have it in my life in a extra reasonable scale to the place I can do some issues outdoors of that too. I freed up a number of time as effectively. I couldn’t be happier. I believe it’s been actually good. I can’t wait to get to New Jersey and play one other occasion there (in two weeks at Trump Bedminster).
“The player experience, the experience of those events from a player standpoint is a 10. You can’t get it any better. Look, it’s not my job to explain or help you understand or whatever. It’s just … I couldn’t be happier.”
Asked in regards to the influence the fallout has had on him personally, Mickelson mentioned, “It’s all going to play out in time. I think it’s all going to play out and end up where it should be in time.”