Phil Mickelson, who has not played since February, has applied to the PGA Tour for permission to play at the Centurion Club in June; The reigning champion has entered next month’s PGA Championship too, along with this year’s US Open
Last Updated: 25/04/22 11:29pm
Phil Mickelson has asked the PGA Tour for permission to play in the Saudi-backed golf league opener while at the same time signing up for two of the year’s remaining majors.
Monday was the deadline for players to ask for a conflicting event release from the PGA Tour to play in the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational from June 9 to 11 at the Centurion Club in Hertfordshire, with Robert Garrigus the only other player to have publicly confirmed he has applied too.
It also was the deadline to register for the PGA Championship, for which the 51-year-old is the defending champion, with Mickelson registering for this year’s tournament at Southern Hills and the US Open. However, his management insisted this was not a confirmation of his plans.
“Our client Phil Mickelson is officially registered to play in the PGA Championship as well as the US Open,” Mickelson’s long-time manager, Steve Loy of Sportfive, said in a statement.
“We have also filed a request on his behalf to play in the first LIV Golf Invitational in London, June 9-11. This request complies with the deadline of April 25 set forth by the PGA Tour to compete in a conflicting tour event.
“Phil currently has no concrete plans on when and where he will play. Any actions taken are in no way a reflection of a final decision made, but rather to keep all options open.”
The PGA Championship will be played from May 19 to 22 and Mickelson’s win at Kiawah Island last year at age 50 saw him become the oldest major champion. It also gave him a five-year exemption to the U.S. Open, which this year will be played outside Boston on June 16-19.
The statement marked the first word from the Mickelson camp since February 22, when he apologised for explosive remarks in a book excerpt by Alan Shipnuck in which he disparaged the Saudis behind Greg Norman’s attempt at a rival league and said he wanted leverage against the PGA Tour.
He has not played since the Saudi International on February 6, even skipping the Masters.
Meanwhile, Norman announced the season-ending team championship for his LIV Golf Invitational series would be at Trump National Doral Miami, the first tournament at the Blue Monster since the PGA Tour moved a World Golf Championship to Mexico in 2017.
Norman’s plan for a rival league suffered a big setback in February when Mickelson, viewed as a chief recruiter for Norman, was quoted by Shipnuck as saying the Saudis were “scary to get involved with”, and that he was working with Norman to get leverage for changes he wanted on the PGA Tour.
None of the top 10 players in the world have expressed interest in Norman’s venture. Norman since has said the rival league he envisioned will be put on hold for two years.
Instead, he said players could sign up for any of the eight tournaments, which offer $20m in prize money with an additional $5m purse for the team aspect.
Even then, PGA Tour players no matter their world ranking cannot apply for conflicting event releases for the five tournaments planned for the United States.