Six-time major winner Phil Mickelson has hit out at the proposed Super Golf League in Saudi Arabia but in a rather bizarre fashion.
Comments have emerged from an interview with golf writer Alan Shipnuck, who's writing a book about Mickelson, as he asked him for his thoughts on the proposed competition.
According to The Times, Mickelson is still a top target for LIV Golf Investments. It has acted as the front-facing group behind the new venture spearheaded by Greg Norman.
But Mickelson's latest comments have been widely criticised online, as he's managed to condemn the actions of the Saudi Arabia regime and leave the door open simultaneously.
"They're scary motherfuckers," Mickelson said. "We know they killed Khashoggi and have a horrible record on human rights. They execute people over there for being gay. Knowing all this, why would I even consider it?"
"Because it’s 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."
Absolutely insane quote from Phil Mickelson here pic.twitter.com/WanxRma2aR
— harry breitner (@HarryTellsJokes) February 17, 2022
Mickelson On Leverage
The comments were made to Shipnuck in November but have only emerged recently online. It's a striking stance to see Mickelson strongly speak out against it but still weigh up the positives.
"I know 20 guys who want to do this," he told Shipnuck. "If the Tour doesn’t do the right thing, there is a high likelihood it’s going to happen."
Mickelson also hit out at PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan, calling it a 'dictatorship' and claiming the Tour tries to 'pretend it's a democracy.'
Only this week, Rory McIlory was vocal in speaking out against the proposed competition saying it was a 'massive risk'. Mickelson sees how golfers can use it to their advantage.
"The Saudi money has finally given us that leverage. I’m not sure I even want (the Saudi Golf League) to succeed, but the idea of it is allowing us to get things done with the Tour."
Alan Shipnuck also revealed that he was told by Mickelson that the Saudi Golf League had paid and consulted 'three top players' to write their opening statement.
A spokesman for the PGA Tour said they had no plans to respond, and Mickelson and his team have yet to comment on his comments made to Shipnuck in November.
The Saudi Golf League themselves aren't phased by Mickelson's words, saying 'any additional comment should be directed towards Phil' and praising him for his achievements.