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‘You’ve never seen someone kiss so much a**’: LIV golfer snarks Phil Mickelson over Saudi backtrack

Lefty’s return to the Kingdom will have been a nervy one after his infamous comments to journalist Alan Shipnuck. But, as one LIV colleague found out, he simply upped the charm offensive

 

Phil Mickelson will no doubt have felt nerves throughout his illustrious career on his way to winning six major titles and 45 PGA Tour trophies.

But the apprehension he might have felt heading to the LIV Golf Jeddah Invitational in 2022 could have toppled any downhill six-footer he’d ever faced.

This was the first time returning to the nation, and its representatives, who he described as “scary m************” earlier in the year in a now infamous interview with Alan Shipnuck.

These comments allegedly almost burnt the LIV house down, but we are now four events into the second season, having just been treated to the raucous atmosphere of Adelaide.

However, as reported by Shipnuck himself in an addendum to his unofficial Mickelson biography, ‘Phil’, a LIV golfer who asked to remain nameless revealed Mickelson approached the event in the most amicable way possible.

“If you think Phil is a bulls*** artist normally, this was another level,” the anonymous player claimed. “You’ve never seen anyone kiss so much a** with that kind of enthusiasm and skill.

“He was ‘on’ from the second he got off the plane and never broke character.

“I’m pretty sure by the end of the week he could have been elected mayor of King Abdullah City, if they actually held elections over there.”

phil mickelson

Mickelson is somewhat a pioneer of the new breakaway league which has split professional golf in half. He was reportedly awarded a sum of nine figures to join and he is the team captain of Hy Flyers GC.

After a turbulent 12 months where he missed the Masters, didn’t defend his PGA Championship title, and missed the cut at the US Open, the 52-year-old appears a more settled figure.

This was arguably and most clearly documented at this year’s Masters where he rallied to finish in a tie for second behind Jon Rahm.

He is preparing to tee it up in Singapore this week where he was tasked with tackling another big LIV-shaped issue – the Official World Golf Rankings.

It’s a box LIV and Greg Norman haven’t ticked and the players on his roster continue to tumble down the rankings, apart from those who can earn points at major tournaments.

“It’s going to all iron itself out because if you’re one of the majors, if you’re the Masters, you’re not looking at keeping these guys out,” Mickelson said.

“You’re saying to yourself, we want to have the best field, we want to have the best players, and these guys added a lot to the tournament this year at the Masters. How do we get them included?

“We have to come up with a qualifying mechanism that is inclusive, and if the World Golf Ranking isn’t going to be inclusive, then they have to find another way.

“Maybe they take the top five or top 10 or winners of LIV, but they have to find a way to get the best LIV players in their field if they want to have the best field in golf and be really what major championship is about. So they’re already looking at that.

“If the World Golf Rankings doesn’t find a way to be inclusive, then the majors will just find another way to include LIV because it’s no longer a credible way.

“So it will all iron itself out for the simple reason that it’s in the best interest of everybody, especially the tournaments, the majors, to have the best players.”

Matt Chivers

Matt Chivers

Now on the wrong side of 25, Matt has been playing golf since the age of 13 and was largely inspired to take up the game by countless family members who played golf during his childhood.

Matt is a member at Royal Cinque Ports in Deal playing off a 5 handicap, just a pitching wedge away from his hometown of Dover where he went to school and grew up. He has previously been a member at Etchinghill and Walmer and Kingsdown in Kent.

Having studied history at the University of Liverpool, Matt went on to pass his NCTJ Exams in Manchester a year later to fulfil his lifelong ambition of becoming a journalist. He picked up work experience along the way at places such as the Racing Post, the Independent, Sportsbeat and the Lancashire Evening Post.

Matt joined NCG in February 2023 and is the website’s main source of tour news, features and opinion. He has reported live from events such as The Open, the Ryder Cup and The Players Championship, having also interviewed and spoken to the likes of Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood, Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell, Henrik Stenson, to name just a few.

Consuming tour golf on what is a 24/7 basis, you can come to Matt for informed views on the game and the latest updates on the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and LIV Golf.

What’s in Matt’s bag: Cobra LTDx LS driver, Cobra LTDx 3-wood, TaylorMade P7MC irons, Ping Glide 4.0 wedges, Odyssey putter.

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