'Earn it': Tiger Woods rips Phil Mickelson over $3 billion golf saga

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·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
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Tiger Woods (pictured right) during a US Open press conference and (pictured left) Phil Mickelson after a shot.
Tiger Woods (pictured right) has taken aim at Phil Mickelson (pictured left) over his motives to withdraw from the Championship this week. (Getty Images)

Tiger Woods has questioned Phil Mickelson's motives in backing the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational ahead of what should have been his Championship Open defence this week.

Mickelson became the oldest champion in history at the age of 50 in 2021 with his victory accompanied with some incredible images of all his fans cheering him on.

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The six-time major winner officially registered for the US PGA and next month's US Open on April 25, but also requested a release from the PGA Tour to play the first LIV Golf Invitational Series event from June 9-11.

And since his request was denied, the defending champion has withdrawn from the major.

Mickelson hasn't played since his controversial comments about the Greg Norman spearheaded, Saudi-backed golf league.

In an excerpt from Alan Shipnuck's forthcoming biography on the golfer, Mickelson allegedly described the Saudi financial backers of the proposed league as "scary" with a "horrible record on human rights", but said he was willing to deal with them in order to gain leverage to "reshape" the US PGA Tour.

And speaking at the Championship Open on Tuesday, 16-time major winner Woods didn't hold back when dissecting Mickelson's motives in the move.

“Phil has said some things that I think a lot of us who are committed to the tour, and committed to the legacy of the tour, have pushed back against,” Woods said.

“He has taken some personal time and we all understand that. But I think that some of his views on how the tour could be run, should be run, been a lot of disagreement there.”

Tiger Woods (pictured left) hits a tee shot as Phil Mickelson (pictured right) watches.
Tiger Woods (pictured left) has questioned Phil Mickelson's (pictured right) motives after withdrawing from the Championship. (Photo by John McCoy/PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

Woods took aim at Mickelson's comments regarding the Saudi-backed league, but admitted the Tour will miss him at the Championship.

“The viewpoints that Phil has made, with the tour and what the tour has meant to all of us, have been polarising,” Woods added.

“We miss him being out here. He’s a big draw for the game of golf. He’s just taking his time and we all wish him the best when he comes back.

“Obviously we’re going to have difference of opinions, how he sees the tour, and we’ll go from there.”

Rory McIlroy admits surprise at LIV Golf Invitational

Golf star Rory McIlroy has been critical of Mickelson since his comments on the breakaway league, but has admitted the determination of the group to succeed has surprised him.

The new LIV Golf tournament will have eight event, each with a prize fund of PS20.2million ($AUD 36million).

And Mickelson said it appears the league will go ahead.

"Yeah, I might have been a little presumptuous at that point," McIlroy said on Tuesday ahead of the year's second major at Southern Hills in Tulsa.

"It seems like it's still going. Greg and everyone behind it are very determined. I think we're just going to have to see how it plays out. Guys are going to make decisions.

"Honestly it's going to shape the future of professional golf one way or another, so I think we're just going to have to see how it all shakes out."

with AAP

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