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Phil Mickelson and the PGA Tour respond to Tiger’s ‘enormous loan’ claim

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During Phil Mickelson’s now infamous conversation with Alan Shipnuck, “Lefty” implied that the PGA Tour was holding out on it’s players and had more money to give.

“They are sitting on hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of digital content we could be using for our social media feeds. The players need to own all of that. We played those shots, we created those moments, we should be the ones to profit. The Tour doesn’t need that money. They are already sitting on an $800 million cash stockpile. How do you think they’re funding the PIP? Or investing $200 million in the European Tour? The Tour is supposed to be a nonprofit that distributes money to charity. How the f**k is it legal for them to have that much cash on hand? The answer is, it’s not. But they always want more and more. They have to control everything. Their ego won’t allow them to make the concessions they need to.”

In the meantime, the PGA Tour’s purses and prize money have skyrocketed. The Player Impact Program was increased to $100 million this season.  The Sentry Tournament of Champions (January 2-8) will have a purse of $15 million, up from $8.2 million in 2022. The Genesis Invitational (February 13-19), the Arnold Palmer Invitational (February 27-March 5) and the Memorial Tournament will see purses increase from $12 million to $20 million.

Yesterday, Tiger Woods touched on numerous topics while speaking with the media during his press conference prior to hosting this week’s Hero World Challenge.

At one point during the riveting interview, Woods was asked about Phil Mickelson’s previous comments, and if all of the money being added to the prize pool and extra bonus money is proof that he was right all along.

Tiger was quick to shut it down, saying that the Tour had to take out loans during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“No, absolutely not, no,” he said. “We took out an enormous loan during the pandemic in which that, if we had another year of the pandemic, our Tour would only be sustained for another year. So we took out an enormous loan. It worked, it paid off in our benefit, hence we were able to use that money to make the increases that we’ve made.”

Bob Harig of Sports Illustrated spoke with the Tour about Tiger’s comments, who clarified that the money was not a loan, but in fact reserves and “mitigating actions”.

Mickelson then took to Twitter to add more context to the situation.

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19th Hole

TaylorMade signs 15-year-old AJGA Rolex Junior Player of the Year to an NIL contract

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This week, TaylorMade Golf announced that they’ve signed AJGA Rolex Junior Player of the Year, Miles Russell, to an NIL contract.

In a statement, TaylorMade called Russell “nothing short of remarkable”.

“Miles’ record setting success at his young age is nothing short of remarkable and we are excited he chose us to support him in his growth as a golfer to continue to accomplish his career goals. Identifying and developing the top junior talent in the world has always been a priority for us at TaylorMade. Miles and his family epitomize the type of athlete and human being we are looking to add to Team TaylorMade.”

Russell has broken plenty of records in recent months. This season, he was named American Junior Golf Association’s Rolex Boys Player of the Year, making him the youngest male player to receive the award. The record was previously held by Tiger Woods who was about 10 months older than Russell at the time he received the award.

At age 14, J he became the youngest player ever to win the Junior PLAYERS Championship at TPC Sawgrass at age 14.

The 15-year-old also played in his first Korn Ferry Tour event on Thursday, the LECOM Suncoast Classic, and shot a first-round 68.

In the aftermath of the agreement, Russell released a statement.

“I have had a great relationship with the team at TaylorMade for years now and couldn’t be more excited to continue to work with them in the future. TaylorMade has a history of developing the top junior talent in the world to help reach their goals of becoming PGA TOUR and major championship winners. I am looking forward to working with the team to reach those and other goals I have laid out for my career.”

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Group of PGA Tour caddies sign endorsement deal with underwear company

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In an interesting turn of events, a group of PGA Tour caddies have signed an endorsement deal with an underwear company.

Geno Bonnalie (Joel Dahmen), Aaron Flener (J.T. Poston), John Limanti (Akshay Bhatia) and Joel Stock (Will Zalatoris) and John Ellis (Wyndham Clark) have signed a deal with the underwear brand, SAXX.

Here are some details about the endorsement deal:

  • The deal eclipses six figures in total value, extending what last year marked the first significant apparel agreement with a group of pro caddies. Of note, Geno and John Ellis appeared in the Netflix docuseries, Full Swing.
  • The caddies will wear SAXX underwear, shorts and polos on and off the course.
  • SAXX will donate $100 to the Testicular Cancer Foundation for every birdie made by the caddies’ players for the rest of the season.
  • SAXX will bring the Ball Masters to the masses at the Travelers Championship, hosting a fan activation with underwear giveaways, photo opportunities, appearances from the Ball Masters and more.
  • Fans can become an honorary Ball Master, which includes a year’s worth of underwear, among other things. Go to SAXX.com/ball-master-application from now until June 15 to enter.

The partnership is great for the caddies and also represents a great cause.

Check out the video they shared on YouTube:

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Man charged with stealing millions of dollars worth of memorabilia from Augusta National

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Augusta National

According to a report from the Chicago Tribune, a man has been charged in Chicago with stealing millions of dollars’ worth of memorabilia from Augusta National.

The man, Robert Globensky, was charged with transporting the memorabilia across state lines.

The report states that between 2009 and 2022, Globensky allegedly transported “millions of dollars’ worth of Masters golf tournament merchandise and historical memorabilia” from Augusta National “and transported to Tampa, Florida, knowing the same had been stolen, converted and taken by fraud.”

The document was filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Per the court records there is no mention that Globensky worked for the golf club.

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