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19th Hole

Polarizing TV star blasts golf for its ‘unedifying sporting crucifixion’ of Phil Mickelson

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With the recent controversy regarding Phil Mickelson’s negative comments about the PGA Tour and connection to the Saudi golf league led by LIV Golf Investments and Greg Norman, people have been coming out of the woodwork to criticize “Lefty”.

Yesterday it was announced that Phil will not be playing in the 2022 Masters, which was a shock to many people. His detractors used this recent announcement to continue to pile on Phil.

However, Mickelson has gained a rather interesting supporter during his apparent exile from the PGA Tour.

Piers Morgan, who is a former Britain’s Got Talent judge and ex-editor of the News of the World and Daily Mirror sent a tweet to express his support for the six time major champion. Morgan described the treatment of Phil as “unedifying sporting crucifixion” and said he’d be happy to play golf with the 51-year-old.

Time will tell if the backlash aimed at Mickelson will start to subside as we move farther from his comments which accused the PGA Tour of “obnoxious greed”.

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  1. Erik Ugland

    Apr 8, 2022 at 12:07 am

    Phil hasn’t been banished. He’s gone into hiding. It was his choice not to play at Augusta. And it’s frankly a little weird that he doesn’t just make some kind of public appearance to apologize instead of just issuing canned statements through publicists. He needs to show some genuine contrition. And then people will forgive him. They will. Phil has built up enough of a fan base, and enough goodwill, that if he just throws the public a bone, we’ll welcome him back into the fold. But he’s chosen to just ghost the golf world instead of being a big boy and taking his medicine.

  2. Richard Douglas

    Apr 7, 2022 at 9:02 pm

    Mickelson is being judged right where he should be: in the court of public opinion. His sponsors are making private, market-based decisions to drop him. The PGA Tour appears to have suspended him, another decision by a private organization.

    You might agree or disagree with these decisions, but you can’t claim he is being “cancelled.” Mickelson made a lot of money from the very organizations that are now wanting to cut off their relationships with him. It cuts both ways.

  3. Professor

    Apr 1, 2022 at 12:45 pm

    Interesting comments. You guys and your lizard people, boy! That stuff must be rotting your brains because cI’m mom sense is all out the window. Emotion rules the day in this day and age. Then again, it was Voltaire who said, “common sense isn’t so common.” But let’s be very clear, Phil Mickelson did this to himself. Phil is an arrogant, entitled, gazillionaire who is way out of touch with reality. Phil thinks he’s the smartest guy in the room. Turns out the only person he outsmarted this time was himself.

  4. geohogan

    Mar 25, 2022 at 7:44 pm

    Piers Morgan says he ‘misses’ Donald Trump being president.

    Another member of narcissists are US.

  5. Pingback: ‘Should be banned’ – Major champ roasted for ‘painful’ AimPoint routine over 4-foot putt – GolfWRX

  6. Ned

    Mar 24, 2022 at 6:24 am

    Totally agree with Phil PGA tour is a monopoly trying to flex it’s muscle. To bar an independent contractor from playing on the tour because they played in another event is ridiculous. They should pull the non profit status which is also ridiculous.

    • Richard Douglas

      Apr 7, 2022 at 9:06 pm

      That’s a false argument. Even if we stipulate that the Tour suspended him, it wasn’t for wanting to play “another event.” The Tour has provisions for that. And the players make up the Tour, they’re not merely “independent contractors.”

      As for their nonprofit status, it is in order. They do charity work, and the earnings they draw are passed through to the players, who pay their own taxes on it. There’s nothing to tax because there are no profits. (Some will quibble with their retained earnings, but there are laws and rules about that.)

  7. Piers is Right

    Mar 23, 2022 at 1:22 pm

    Phil’s irrational treatment by the press and desktop jockeys, is the same illogical treatment Russian athletes have received just because they happened to be Russian.

    Sports have become a sorry political enterprise which is why I no longer watch sports.

    Golf been the exception, for now.

    • ED DAVISON JR

      Mar 25, 2022 at 6:47 pm

      PHIL PUNISHED FOR HIS OPINION, NO FREE SPEECH IN PGA HEAVEN…

      • geohogan

        Mar 28, 2022 at 11:09 pm

        @ed jr: and there is free speech in Saudi Arabia?
        No worries Phil…lots of virgins in Saudi heaven.

  8. Imafitter

    Mar 23, 2022 at 11:26 am

    Morgan is such a pampas ass! It’s what Phil said and it’s no ones fault but his. If he said it in Dubai, Phil probably wouldn’t still be around today! Tell this arrogant nothing from the Clinton News Network to shut it up.

  9. Papichulosteve

    Mar 23, 2022 at 11:19 am

    As someone wiser than me said, it’s not cancelling, it’s called consequences for your actions.

    While it is a big issue, set aside where the money for this upstart league is coming from, and the inevitable ‘whataboutism’ that follows.

    He hired lawyers to draw up a plan to submarine the current PGA tour. He attempted basically a hostile takeover, and the tour found out. If you tried the same thing at your place of employment, you too would be promptly exited out of the building and deemed persona non grata. He did this to himself, and is facing repercussions for those actions.

    • Bob Pegram

      Mar 23, 2022 at 6:19 pm

      Phil is not an employee of the PGA Tour. He is an independent contractor. That makes your example not relevant.

  10. Ted

    Mar 23, 2022 at 11:15 am

    In general most people suck. Most are inept generic boring hate their own lives that’s why they post messages online.

  11. benseattle

    Mar 23, 2022 at 10:20 am

    You misspelled “unimportant blowhard” when you typed the words “TV star.”

  12. gdb99

    Mar 23, 2022 at 10:08 am

    Cancelling Phil is stupid.

  13. Michael

    Mar 23, 2022 at 9:55 am

    Piers Morgan is supporting Phil and going public with it?

    That’s pathetic. Morgan is a useless blowhard. His support will not help Phil’s public image one bit. It will only hurt Phil.

    Phil went outside the family with his complaints. It appears he never tried from the inside to have them addressed. Change needed or not, he betrayed the organization that had a big role in making him extremely successful. Very bad mistake. He knew better.

    Then to align himself with Greg Norman is among the most foolish and ignorant things a pro golfer could do. Norman is a pariah and the biggest ego mania in gold. He also is one of the biggest chokers to ever play. Can you say five strokes ahead on Sunday?

    I used to think Phil was very smart so when he says it was off the record, out of context, etc., I say garbage Phil. You knew what would happen and if you didn’t you are incredibly less intelligent than we all thought you were.

  14. Pingback: ‘Hypocrisy at its finest’ – Lee Westwood clashes with journalists over LPGA Saudi treatment – GolfWRX

  15. Pingback: ‘Hypocricy at its finest’ – Lee Westwood clashes with journalists over LPGA Saudi treatment – GolfWRX

  16. Bob

    Mar 23, 2022 at 12:48 am

    Like most of the world, just another silly teadrinking waterboy ignoring the genocide of over 14,000 russian-speaking ukrainians since 2014 that led to the current situaion.

    • CG

      Mar 23, 2022 at 7:35 am

      Yet you buy products from China and fill up with Saudi oil. Another idiot heard from.

      • Tyler Durden

        Mar 24, 2022 at 10:30 pm

        Where’s your computer device made moron?

    • Bob is Right

      Mar 23, 2022 at 1:26 pm

      This is the truth Bob, well said.

      I don’t know who’s worst, those who remain ignorant by choice or those who refuse to see the facts.

    • Jed

      Mar 23, 2022 at 4:57 pm

      And the genocide in China and human rights in North Korea? That’s all ok because they are Russias allies?
      Genocide in the Ukraine…. gimme a break

    • geohogan

      Mar 28, 2022 at 11:13 pm

      @bob
      Saudi intervention in Yemen has included massive airstrikes. Over a third have targeted civilian areas, including hospitals, homes, markets, schools, and mosques, directly killing over 12,000 civilians. Only half of hospitals continue to operate. Saudi naval blockades have cut off food supplies. Thousands of children have died of starvation. A cholera epidemic afflicted 800,000 civilians and killed thousands. Eighty percent of the population depends on humanitarian relief. The Yemeni Archive and Oxfam report that the Saudi-led coalition has systematically destroyed 130 bridges essential for delivery of humanitarian aid. Houthis have also prevented food aid from reaching populations in areas they control. At least 233,000 civilians have died in Yemen’s civil war.

  17. Jo Momma

    Mar 22, 2022 at 9:33 pm

    What, was Nigel Farage too busy to tweet that?

  18. Tom Kay

    Mar 22, 2022 at 4:56 pm

    The cancel culture has been after Phil ever since he complained about the confiscatory tax rates in CA.

    • PJ

      Apr 9, 2022 at 5:58 pm

      Yep. If I were Phil I would not have bent the knee to the PGA. I would have told them to KMA and kept rolling on. Everyone is quick to pile on someone else as if they have never made a mistake in their life. We learned that sponsors are with you until the end until they aren’t. Phil has enough money to never play again and will be just fine. If you are outraged by his support for Saudi I suppose you are also outraged by every player, to include Tiger, that has played in their tournaments and you will criticize them appropriately. That’s what I thought….you won’t. Hypocrites

  19. Matt

    Mar 22, 2022 at 4:44 pm

    Nobody cares what Piers Morgan has to say.

    • Know Buddy

      Mar 22, 2022 at 4:57 pm

      I do.

      • Michael

        Mar 23, 2022 at 9:56 am

        You do? You’ve got big problems if that is true.

        • Michael The Buffoon in Charge

          Mar 23, 2022 at 1:28 pm

          Why do you care? Because you think you are better than everyone here, but you are just another desktop buffon.

          Pipe up sucka!

  20. ChipNRun

    Mar 22, 2022 at 2:04 pm

    Good to see Piers Morgan take a more principled stance for once, supporting PM.

    His frequent snarky outbursts against Meghan Markle, duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry’s wife, always had a racist veneer about them.

    I had designated him as “prig laureate” for his tirades against Markle. Maybe time for redemption.

  21. aedeoiad

    Mar 22, 2022 at 1:21 pm

    You’ve really screwed up when Piers Morgan is on your side.

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19th Hole

16 LIV Golf pros threaten legal action against DP World Tour; DP World Tour responds

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16 LIV Golf players have threatened the DP World Tour with legal action after being banned from the Scottish Open and fined £100,000.

The 16 players will likely include Europeans such as Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia, Graeme McDowell and Martin Kaymer. In the letter obtained by “The Telegraph”, the players said that the Tour’s actions to ban and fine players “will have adverse consequences on the DP World Tour.”

The letter ‘implored’ the DP World Tour to “reconsider your recent penalties and sanctions” and rescind the fines and suspensions by 5pm on Friday. If the Tour doesn’t rescind the bans and fines by that time, the players will be taking immediate legal action. “If not, you will leave us with no choice but to employ the various other means and methods at our disposal to rectify these wrongs,” the letter states.

The letter also criticizes the DP World Tour’s decision to partner with the PGA TOUR for the Scottish Open and Barracuda Championship. Due to their alliance, some DP World Tour players have been forced out of the Scottish Open to make room for PGA Tour players. Therefore, some DP World Tour players will have to fly to Kentucky to play for a smaller purse in the week before the 150th Open Championship.

Additionally, the 16 players criticized the DP World Tour’s new deal with the PGA Tour that will see the top 10 players on the Race to Dubai rankings earn PGA Tour cards.

“That the DP World Tour top performers will now earn PGA Tour cards serves only to solidify the DP World Tour as second fiddle to the PGA Tour and depletes the DP World Tour’s top rising talent even further”.

Full letter here:

“In Mr Pelley’s latest communication, he uses the statement that every action in life comes with a consequence. We agree, and we are concerned that the actions of the Tour against us, LIV Golf, and golf in general will have adverse consequences on the DP World Tour, a tour and an organisation that, despite our recent interactions, we care deeply for.

“The intention of this letter is not to further divide us, but to respond to Tour statements and to pose questions that the Tour should answer and we should discuss in detail. Instead of spending our time, energy, financial resources, and focus on appeals, injunctions, and lawsuits, we would implore you, the custodians of the DP World Tour, to reconsider your recent penalties and sanctions, and instead focus our energies on forging a path forward that is better for the DP World Tour members and the game of golf.

“To this end, we ask that you rescind your fines and suspensions by 5:00 pm on Friday, July 1, 2022. In addition, we represent over 5 percent of the DP World Tour membership and, under its articles of association, we ask you to convene a meeting of Tour membership to discuss these important matters further. If not, you will leave us with no choice but to employ the various other means and methods at our disposal to rectify these wrongs.

“We appreciate that the argument being put forward is that the ‘strategic alliance’ with the PGA Tour will provide overall benefit to DP World Tour members – hence the competitive threat to the PGA Tour being treated differently when it comes to releases and other matters.

“To begin with, we do not accept that protecting the PGA Tour through this alliance could in any way justify this disparate treatment. Even if it could, what are these benefits? This a question we have asked for many months.

“Thus far, the option to play the Barracuda Championship instead of the Scottish Open doesn’t appear to be one that benefits the membership at all. Ultimately, approximately 40 DP World Tour members who would have been eligible for the Scottish Open on the DP World tour will now not be eligible, and instead will only have the option to go and play on the PGA Tour in Kentucky the week before The Open, for less money but at a higher cost to participate.

“In addition, PGA Tour players have been encouraged to play the Scottish Open through a stipend to cover travel costs, but the same benefit is not afforded to DP World Tour members?! That the DP World Tour top performers will now earn PGA Tour cards serves only to solidify the DP World Tour as second fiddle to the PGA Tour and depletes the DP World Tour’s top rising talent even further. And without regard to whether this collaboration is lawful, would this collaboration be happening without LIV Golf entering the market?”

In response, the DP World Tour released this statement on Friday morning:

“There has been a leak to the media of a letter we received on behalf of a number of LIV Golf players which contains so many inaccuracies that it cannot remain unchallenged.

“Before joining LIV Golf, players knew there would be consequences if they chose money over competition. Many of them at the time understood and accepted that. Indeed, as one player named in the letter said in a media interview earlier this year; ‘If they ban me, they ban me.’ It is not credible that some are now surprised with the actions we have taken.

“The letter claims that these players ‘care deeply’ for the DP World Tour. An analysis of the past participation statistics on our Tour in recent years of several of the leading players named, suggests otherwise.

“One player in particular named in the note has only played six Rolex Series events in the past five years. Another one, only four. I wish many of them had been as keen to play on our Tour then as they seem to be now, based on the fact they have either resigned their membership of the PGA TOUR or, if they are still in membership, have been suspended indefinitely.

“Furthermore, given how deeply these players say they care about the DP World Tour, perhaps some of them could have played in Ireland this week in support of our new title sponsor, in particular one player who gave us a signed commitment to play at Mount Juliet.

“With that player currently in action at Pumpkin Ridge, you can imagine the allegation in the letter that we are in the wrong, is hard to accept.

“We also take great exception to an allegation made near the end of the letter which states we are somehow playing ‘second fiddle’ to the PGA TOUR. Nothing could be further from the truth.

“We held a player meeting in Ireland on Tuesday where we outlined in great detail all the many benefits of our expanded relationship with the PGA TOUR.

“One of those is an unprecedented ten cards on offer to the PGA TOUR, cards that many of the players named in this letter desperately wanted to attain in the early stages of their careers. Why now be critical of those trying to do the same?

“The letter also expresses supposed concern about the future of the DP World Tour. Rest assured no-one should have any worries on that score.

“The DP World Tour is a vibrant, independent and global Tour with increasing and guaranteed prize fund growth over the next five years. We have fantastic tournaments across the year including a host of wonderful national Opens, all played in front of huge crowds, illustrated perfectly by this week’s Horizon Irish Open.

“Finally, it would not be appropriate for me to comment on any potential legal matters.

“I will simply reiterate that our Members’ Regulations which have been in force for more than 30 years, have been accepted by all the players, are there to protect all of our members, and we will use them to take all necessary steps to protect their interests.

“The sanctions for those members who knowingly broke our rules by playing at the Centurion Club without a release are proportionate, fair and, I believe, considered necessary by the majority of our members.”

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19th Hole

Phil Mickelson makes a couple of interesting equipment changes for LIV Golf’s Portland event

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For many years, golf fans watched Phil Mickelson using what may have been one of the shortest putters on tour, but while he won the PGA Championship with his trusty Odyssey Milled Blade “Phil Mickelson” he’s been tinkering with the length for a while.

Last September at the Fortinet Championship, Phil was spotted with a new, extended, grip on the flat stick, allowing him to create an ‘arm-lock’ style that made him feel as if, “I’ll get on a roll and just start making a lot.”

So to this week’s LIV tournament at Pumpkin Ridge, and the six-time major winner is experimenting once again.

Twitter’s ‘Phil Mickelson Tracker’ posted a photo of his extended putter with the one-word exclamation “#Armlock!”

The replies were mostly positive, suggesting it can only help the three-time Masters champion improve past some poor putting stats. Indeed, since a standout gain of over 12 shots putting at Kiawah Island, Lefty has lost strokes to the field in nine of his last 12 recorded starts, with his worst performance being a loss of over ten shots at the BMW Championship last August. No wonder he lobbed on the extra rubber at Napa.

With his Callaway deal on hold, Mickelson has also made a change in his wedges.

Lefty has a Ping Eye2 wedge in the bag this week, with the model being an Eye2 XG (a reproduction of the original Eye 2 but with 2010 conforming grooves) which he has used occasionally since 2014. 

Mickelson sits T30 after the opening day’s action in Portland, after shooting a disappointing round of 3 over par on Thursday.

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19th Hole

Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia’s personal relationship has reportedly turned toxic

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In 2014 Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia were the so-called ‘dream team’ of the Ryder Cup.

The pair totted up a combined total of 5-and-a-half points of the 16-and-a-half won by the victorious European team, beating the pairing of Jim Furyk and Hunter Mahan in the second day foursomes before both winning their singles.

Their relationship was so solid that McIlroy was honored to be an usher at Garcia’s wedding in 2017, but recently it’s all gone sour, with Golf Monthly reporting a “complete deterioration” of the relationship.

A week ago, it was widley reported that the Spaniard had told his Northern Irish friend that they were now “finally getting paid what we deserve,” a comment that received the reply, “Sergio. We’re golfers. We don’t deserve to be paid anything.”

According to Golf Monthly, the relationship has now “turned personal,” with the world number three unhappy that his old friend has dedicated himself to the Saudi-backed tour, putting the selection process for the Ryder Cup into confusion. The rhetoric between the two is reported to be “bitter and personal.”

At the Wells Fargo Championship in May, as he was hacking out of the rough after a ruling, Garcia was heard muttering, “I can’t wait to leave this tour,” before being confirmed as one of the initial participants of the LIV Golf Series.

Whilst it is unclear exactly what the sanctions are with regards to the Ryder Cup 2023, the way the PGA and DP Tours are moving, there is a distinct possibility that LIV players will be seriously affected – though Garcia has made clear that he wants to be a part of it.

At a press conference before the inaugural LIV event at the Centurion Club, Garcia stated, “I haven’t resigned from the European Tour because I would like to still be a member. I’m European, I love the European Tour. I played it for 23 years. Obviously we’re going to have to wait and see what the European Tour does. But I definitely would like to keep my membership and get my chance to make the Ryder Cup team because I love that event. But we’ll wait and see what happens over there.”

Whilst recent LIV press conferences on site have caused their own controversy, Garcia has prompted his own backlash.

After reportedly delivering an anti-DP World Tour rant at the BMW International in Germany last week, Golf Monthly reports that one tour player commented:

“They (LIV players) all think they are untouchable, and they all think the tours can’t do anything. I think they’re all about to realize they’re wrong. It is short sighted to think regulations can’t change and that there isn’t a lot of ill-feeling towards them. I think they’ve miscalculated quite dramatically.

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