The Great White Shark has caught his greatest fish.
Greg Norman, the entrance man for the controversial Saudi-backed LIV Golf collection, on Monday landed 51-year-old Phil Mickelson, The Post has discovered solely.
Last week, LIV Golf introduced 42 of the 48 gamers within the discipline for its first occasion, June Sep 11 exterior of London. World No. 13 Dustin Johnson was the largest title on the record. Now the occasion may even characteristic Mickelson, who’ll be taking part in a event for the primary time since Feb. 6 when he competed within the Saudi International.
Johnson’s participation got here as a shock contemplating he’d publicly backed the PGA Tour in February. But a report out of the United Kingdom in The Telegraph, stated Johnson was supplied about $125 million by LIV Golf to hitch its collection of tournaments.
It’s unknown what Mickelson was supplied to hitch, however sources instructed The Post that negotiations between LIV Golf and Mickelson’s camp had been ongoing and there was some extent final week that LIV believed Mickelson was on board. That negotiation was lastly accomplished Monday.
“Phil Mickelson is unequivocally one of the greatest golfers of this generation,’’ Norman said. “His contributions to the sport and connection to fans around the globe cannot be overstated and we are grateful to have him. He strengthens an exciting field for London where we’re proud to launch a new era for golf.”
A complication for Mickelson has been the general public fallout from feedback he made to a author (in a dialog Mickelson asserted was non-public) that ripped each the PGA Tour and the Saudi enterprise.
Since his feedback have been revealed, Mickelson issued a public apology and said that he was going to take a while away from the sport and has been in a state of self-exile. He final performed a PGA Tour occasion in January on the Farmers Insurance Open.
Since then, the six-time main championship winner has skipped the Masters, which he’s received thrice and calls his favourite occasion, and final month’s PGA Championship, at which was slated to defend the title he received in 2021.
It’s unclear whether or not Mickelson will play within the U.S. Open subsequent week at Brookline, Mass., but it surely appears extremely unlikely given the sample of the previous few months. The U.S. Open, for which Mickelson is formally registered, is the one main championship he has not received, the one main lacking for him to finish a career Grand Slam and the event he covets most.
With PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan having taken a hardline stance on gamers who play within the Saudi occasions, threatening sanctions that would embody banishment from taking part in on the PGA Tour, it appears Mickelson and the opposite gamers who’ve dedicated to taking part in subsequent week’s LIV occasion have chosen sides.
The Norman-led tour is run by LIV Golf Investments, which is backed by Public Investment Fund (PIF), which is actually the monetary arm of the Saudi Arabian authorities. This has been a hot-button matter within the sport, drawing a lot criticism.
In his feedback to Alan Shipnuck, who wrote an unauthorized biography on Mickelson, Mickelson known as the Saudis “scary motherf—ers to get involved with,” including, “We know they killed [Washington Post reporter and U.S. resident Jamal] Khashoggi and have a horrible document on human rights. They execute individuals over there for being homosexual. Knowing all of this, why would I even take into account it? Because this can be a once-in-a-lifetime alternative 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 [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.”
Prior to these revealed feedback, Mickelson was quoted on the document by John Huggan of Golf Digest in February, calling out the PGA Tour for “obnoxious greed’’ in his quest to push the tour to take higher monetary care of its gamers, significantly the celebs who drive the tour.
Mickelson known as out the PGA Tour because the gatekeepers of “roughly $20 billion” in media property and “hundreds of millions of digital moments” that rightfully belong to the gamers.
“I don’t know where things are headed, but I know I will be criticized,” Mickelson stated within the Golf Digest interview. “The media rights are but a small fraction of everything else. And it is the Tour’s obnoxious greed that has really opened the door for opportunities elsewhere.”
Now we all know have been “elsewhere’’ is for Mickelson.