Before the start of the 2022 Open Championship, Tiger Woods said golfers like Mickelson who left the PGA Tour to join LIV Golf had “turned their back on what has allowed them to get to this position”Phil Mickelson isn’t starting a war of words with fellow golfer Tiger Woods.Earlier this week, Woods criticized a growing group of PGA Tour players — including Mickelson — who have accepted suspensions to play with the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series, telling reporters they had “turned their back on what has allowed them to get to this position.”
Mickelson, who is playing with Woods at the 2022 British Open Championship, was asked about the criticism on Thursday.
“I certainly respect his opinion,” Mickelson told reporters, according to the Washington Post. “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.”
In June, the PGA Tour suspended 17 golfers who appeared in LIV Golf’s first event, including Mickelson and Dustin Johnson, a former Masters winner who resigned from the tour ahead of the suspension.
Tiger Woods Criticizes LIV Golf Players Who ‘Turned Their Back’ on PGA Tour
ESPN previously reported that LIV Golf has ties to the Public Investment Fund, a sovereign wealth fund that makes investments on behalf of Saudi Arabia. The country has long been condemned for human rights abuses.
While Mickelson, 52, has faced heat from the PGA Tour, he told reporters he “couldn’t be happier” to have joined LIV.
“I made the right decision for me,” he said on Thursday, according to ESPN. “And I’m excited about, like I say, having the opportunity to play competitive golf and have it in my life in a more moderate scale to where I can do some things outside of that too. I freed up a lot of other — freed up a lot of ti”I couldn’t be happier. I think it’s been really good,” he continued. “I can’t wait to get to New Jersey and play another event there.
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.”The 2022 British Open Championship started Thursday at Scotland’s Old Course in St. Andrews and runs through Sunday.
As of Thursday afternoon, American Cameron Young led all golfers to finish eight under par.
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