Phil Mickelson is back after a four-month hiatus as chief recruiter for a Saudi-funded league to the PGA Tour. He will be joining the 48-man field at the LIV Golf Invitational, which starts Friday outside London.
Mickelson will join Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia, and three other former major champions for a 54-hole tournament at Centurion golf Club. There are $25 million in prize money and $4,000,000 going to the individual winner.
Mickelson stated that he is ready to return to the game he loves, but after 32 years of playing it, this new path offers a fresh start and is exciting for him at this stage in his career.
Mickelson stated that he will be playing the final two majors starting June 16 at The Country Club in Boston.
Mickelson stated that the "transformative new league" would allow him to concentrate on a healthier way of living on and off the golf course. Mickelson didn't mention the signing fee. It is most likely to be the same as the $125 million Johnson reportedly received.
Mickelson will play for the first time since February 6, at the Saudi International. This was where he first started to draw attention about his leanings when he said that the PGA Tour was "obnoxious greed".
Two weeks later, Alan Shipnuck published extracts from his unauthorized biography of Mickelson. The six-time major champion admitted Saudi Arabia's human rights atrocities including the murder of Jamal Khashoggi in Washington Post columns. However, Shipnuck said that it was worth participating if it meant gaining influence to change the PGA Tour.
Mickelson said that he, three other top players, paid lawyers to draft the operating agreement for the new league. Mickelson later apologized for his reckless remarks, but did not mention the PGA Tour.
He was then out of sight for four months and missed the Masters and PGA Championships, which he had won last year at the age of 50 to become the oldest major champion.
Mickelson apologized for his mistake in Monday's statement and said that he sympathizes with those who disagree with him leaving the PGA Tour to play in a league that is financed mainly by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia.
Greg Norman, LIV Golf Investments' CEO and Commissioner said that Norman's "significant contributions to the sport and connections to fans around the world cannot be overstated" and was grateful for his support. He strengthens a vibrant field in London, where we are proud to launch an exciting era of golf.
The PGA Tour refused to release any of the 14 players who signed up for the rival series. This includes Charl Schwartzel, Martin Kaymer, Louis Oosthuizen and Martin Kaymer.
Exemptions were granted to five other Asian Tour players.
Mickelson was the one who tried to recruit players, but his name was not on the field list released Tuesday. According to The Daily Telegraph, Johnson is ranked No. Johnson was ranked 15th in the world and received $125 million to join.