Bryson DeChambeau, who has not competed since the Farmers Insurance Open due to an injury to his left hand, will compete in next week’s PLAYERS Championship, according to the PGA Tour.
Phil Mickelson, who has been the subject of criticism since his flirtation with the Saudi Golf League and the controversial comments he made about the PGA Tour to golf writer Alan Shipnuck, will not compete in the tournament as he continues to take time away from the game .
Mickelson garnered criticism after explaining to Shipnuck his reasoning for getting involved with the proposed Saudi breakaway tour.
“We know the killed [Washington Post reporter and U.S. resident Jamal] Khashoggi and have a horrible record on human rights. They execute people over there for being gay. Knowing all of this, why would I even consider it? Because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape how the PGA Tour operates.
“They’ve been able to get by with manipulative, coercive, strong-arm tactics but we, the players, had no recourse. as nice a guy as [PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan] comes across as, unless you have leverage, he won’t do what’s right. And the Saudi money has finally given us that leverage. I’m not sure I even want [the new league] to succeed, but just the idea of it is allowing us to get things done with the Tour.”
Mickelson claimed that the comments made to Shipnuck were off the record, which Shipnuck vehemently denied.
Mickelson has since apologized, although he did not mention Monahan in the apology and insinuated that the comments to Shipnuck were supposed to be off-the-record.
“Although it doesn’t look this way now given my recent comments, my actions throughout this process have always been with the best interest of golf, my peers, sponsors and fans. There is a problem of off record comments being shared out of context and without my consent, but the bigger issue is that I used words I sincerely regret that do not reflect my true feelings or intentions. It was reckless, I offended people and I am deeply sorry for my choice of words. I am beyond disappointed and will make every effort to self-reflect and learn from this.”
While Mickelson will continue to take time off from golf to put the recent controversy behind him, DeChambeau will head to TPC Sawgrass to try to win one of the Tour’s premier tournaments for the first time in his career.
There are sure to be questions for DeChambeau surrounding the Saudi Golf League, as he was one of the top players in professional golf who was rumored to be joining the breakaway tour. DeChambeau put those rumors to rest in a recently tweetwhere he said that “as long as the best players in the world are playing on the PGA Tour, so will I.”
This will be DeChambeau’s first start since announcing that he will remain on the PGA Tour, which is sure to set an interesting backdrop to the golf calendar’s biggest non-major tournament of the year.
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