Phil Mickelson breaks silence after controversial $280 million move

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Pictured left to right are golfing icons Greg Norman and Phil Mickelson.
Phil Mickelson (R) has spoken out after confirming that he's taken up a huge offer to join Greg Norman's LIV Golf series. Pic: Getty

Phil Mickelson admits he "made mistakes" after confirming that he has taken up a huge offer to compete in Greg Norman's Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series.

The 51-year-old six-time major winner has not played since his controversial comments about the breakaway series, the PGA Tour, and the Saudi backers of the rebel competition.

HISTORY MAKER: Aussie wins biggest payday in women's golf after major triumph

TRAGEDY: Tributes flow for Bart Bryant after PGA great's death at 59

CONTROVERSY: Ugly new Dustin Johnson fallout amid $3 billion golfing war

Mickelson becomes the most high-profile golfer to have joined the rebel series, which gets underway at Centurion outside London, later this week.

The American reportedly accepted a staggering $US200 million ($AUD280 million) deal to jump ship to the breakaway competition.

As eye-watering as that deal sounds, it pales in comparison the "mind-blowingly enormous" deal 15-time major champion Tiger Woods turned down.

"We're talking about high nine digits," Norman said about the offer that Woods rejected.

In announcing his participation in the LIV series, Mickelson ends a self-imposed hiatus from the sport which saw him decline the chance to defend his 2021 PGA Championship title.

Mickelson said in a statement posted on Twitter: "I have made mistakes in my career in some of the things I have said and done. Taking time away and self-reflecting has been very humbling.

"I needed to start prioritising the people that I love the most and work on becoming a better version of myself.

"I have spent this time with [his wife] Amy and loved ones. I have been engaged and intentional in continued therapy and feel healthy and much more at peace. I realise I still have a long way to go, but I am embracing the work ahead."

Phil Mickelson hoping for a 'fresh start'

Mickelson went to explain some of the reasons why he decided to back the LIV series.

He continued: "I am ready to come back to play the game I love but after 32 years this new path is a fresh start, one that is exciting for me at this stage of my career and is clearly transformative, not just for myself, but ideally for the game and my peers.

"I also love the progressive format and think it will be exciting for fans. Just as importantly, it will provide balance, allowing me to focus on a healthier approach to life on and off the course. I am incredibly grateful for what this game and the PGA Tour has given me.

"I would like to think that I have given back as well but now I am excited about this new opportunity."

Besides the $US4 million ($AUD5.5 million) for the winner of each event, Mickelson also received a huge signing-on fee.

Seen here, Phil Mickelson reacts on the 9th hole during day two of the PIF Saudi International at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club.
Phil Mickelson reacts on the 9th hole during day two of the PIF Saudi International at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club. Pic: Getty

Dustin Johnson, hitherto the rebel tour's biggest capture, received a reported $US150 million ($AUD208 million).

The PGA Tour has threatened a ban of any players that compete in a LIV Golf event, however Mickelson insisted that he "intends to play the majors."

The next major is the US Open on June 16-19. While Mickelson is an exempt player and filed an entry to compete, the Unites States Golf Association reserves the right to review any player's situation on a case-by-case basis.

Among the other golfers already confirmed for the 48-player LIV event being held June 9-11 at Centurion Club are former world number ones Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer as well as 2017 Masters champion Sergio Garcia and 2010 British Open winner Louis Oosthuiszen.

with agencies

Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting