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Phil Mickelson On The Saudi Golf League: "They're Scary Motherfuckers To Get Involved With"

Note: The following is from an excerpt from an excerpt from a new biography by Alan Shipnuck. I clipped the saucy stuff below but the full excerpt can be found on the link included:

FirePitCollective.com by Alan Shipnuck - ..... Mickelson told me he had enlisted three other “top players” he declined to name and that they paid for attorneys to write the SGL’s operating agreement, codifying that the players would have control of all the details. He didn’t pretend to be excited about hitching his fortunes to Saudi Arabia, admitting the SGL was nothing more than what he called “sportswashing” by a brutally repressive regime. “They’re scary motherfuckers to get involved with,” he said. “We know they killed [Washington Post reporter and U.S. resident 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 PGA Tour operates. They’ve been able to get by with manipulative, coercive, strong-arm tactics because we, the players, had no recourse. As nice a guy as [PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan] comes across as, unless you have leverage, he won’t do what’s right. And the Saudi money has finally given us that leverage. I’m not sure I even want [the SGL] to succeed, but just the idea of it is allowing us to get things done with the [PGA] Tour.” .......

The "Super Golf League" stuff has been heating up big time in the past few weeks, but this quote from Phil is outrageous. Literally cannot believe he went on the record with this stuff. As I wrote yesterday, there are definitely positives to be taken from the mere existence of the possibility of the SGL. Phil is 1000% correct that the threat of competition is holding the Tour accountable and forcing them to come to the table. But for him to fully acknowledge on the record EXACTLY why getting in bed with (what is essentially) the Saudi government is problematic is..... something.

It's pretty incredible the way in which Phil has tried to frame this entire thing. He's not wrong to try to affect change on Tour and there is some degree of nobility to him taking up the cause. He's done incredible things for the long-term success of the Tour and golf as a whole and he should be an influential voice in its future.... and be rewarded financially for it. But the way he seems to be trying to play God with the whole thing is so... strange? Ill-advised? And most importantly... seemingly oblivious to the fact that very consciously looking the other way on some pretty serious human rights issues to make extra millions is a bad visual? It'd be one thing to play the middle and feign naivety to what's going on in the middle east and just keep the issues about golf. But he's not doing that. He's pretty much LEEEROYYY JEEEENKIIIINS-ing his way through the whole thing and it doesn't seem like guys on Tour are really sprinting into the fire behind him


There's so much more of this story to be told, but over the past month Phil has not held back on how he feels about the whole thing. Can't imagine Jay Monahan and the PGA Tour is his biggest fan right now. All of it is very strange and it leaves me wondering how much we're going to see Phil on Tour moving forward. He'll for sure play the majors and the governing bodies that run those tournaments make that easier on him to do that, but who the hell knows how the rest of it will play out.

PS Rory dropping the "not-so-super league" joke was the most he's resembled Tiger in close to a decade. Guy was so pleased with himself for making that joke. Rory's always a breath of fresh air.