Rory McIlroy calls fallout from Phil Mickelson’s Saudi golf league remarks ‘unfortunate’

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Despite Phil Mickelson’s comments about the Saudi-backed golf league which would rival the PGA Tour, Rory McIlroy said Wednesday that “Lefty” deserved a second chance.

McIlroy told reporters ahead of the Arnold Palmer Invitational it was “unfortunate” that Mickelson was being ostracized so much over his comments about Saudi Arabia.

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Phil Mickelson speaks after winning the PGA Championship golf tournament on the Ocean Course, Sunday, May 23, 2021, in Kiawah Island, South Carolina.

Phil Mickelson speaks after winning the PGA Championship golf tournament on the Ocean Course, Sunday, May 23, 2021, in Kiawah Island, South Carolina. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

“I think Phil has been a wonderful ambassador for the game of golf, still is a wonderful ambassador for the game of golf. It’s unfortunate that a few comments that he thought he was making in confidence or off the record got out there. This whole situation is unfortunate,” he said, via Golf Week.



“Look, Phil will be back. I think the players want to see him back. He’s done such a wonderful job for the game of golf, and he’s represented the game of golf very, very well for the entirety of his career.”

McIlroy added that everyone should be allowed to “make mistakes” and “ask for forgiveness.”

“Hopefully, he comes back at some stage, and he will, and people will welcome him back and be glad that he is back,” he said.

Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, tees off on the second hole during the final round of the Genesis Invitational golf tournament at Riviera Country Club, Sunday, Feb. 20, 2022, in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles.

Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, tees off on the second hole during the final round of the Genesis Invitational golf tournament at Riviera Country Club, Sunday, Feb. 20, 2022, in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ryan Kang)

PHIL MICKELSON MIGHT NOT HAVE TIME HE NEEDS TO RECOVER

Mickelson apologized for the comments about Saudi Arabia amid losing sponsorships.


“I’m beyond disappointed and will make every effort to self-reflect and learn from this,” he said last week.

Mickelson’s remarks to author Alan Shipnuck were made last November and published on The Firepit Collective last month. Shipnuck’s book, “Phil: The Rip-Roaring (and Unauthorized!) Biography of Golf’s Most Colorful Superstar,” is scheduled for a May release.

“They’re scary motherf—–s to get involved with,” Mickelson reportedly said. “We know they killed [Washington Post contributor 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.”



Phil Mickelson walks off the 14th green after missing a birdie putt during the third round at the PGA Championship golf tournament on the Ocean Course, Saturday, May 22, 2021, in Kiawah Island, South Carolina.

Phil Mickelson walks off the 14th green after missing a birdie putt during the third round at the PGA Championship golf tournament on the Ocean Course, Saturday, May 22, 2021, in Kiawah Island, South Carolina. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

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“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 Saudi golf league] to succeed, but just the idea of it is allowing us to get things done with the [PGA] Tour.”


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

https://www.foxnews.com/sports/rory-mcilroy-fallout-phil-mickelson-unfortunate