Phil Mickelson makes shock U-turn to join rebels in Saudi opener

Phil Mickelson makes a shock U-turn to join rebels in £ 19m Saudi opener in Hertfordshire in June as six-time major winner also registers for PGA Championship and US Open during break from golf after calling the Saudis’ scary motherf ***** s’

  • Phil Mickelson has filed a request to play in the first LIV Invitational in St Albans
  • 15 of the world’s top 100-ranked men have also asked to take part in the event
  • Mickelson, 51, had announced that he would take time away from the PGA tour
  • It came after the golfer controversially called the Saudis ‘scary motherf ***** s’

Phil Mickelson performed a stunning U-turn and signed up to the inaugural event of the Saudi rebel golf tour in June while also joining two majors this year.

The 51-year-old has filed a request to play in the first LIV Invitational at the Centurion Club in Hertfordshire, which is offering £ 19million in prize money.

An LIV Golf spokesperson told Sports Illustrated that 15 of the world’s top 100-ranked men had done so.

Phil Mickelson performed a U-turn and signed up to the inaugural event of the Saudi golf tour

The 51-year-old has filed a request to play in the first LIV Invitational at the Centurion Club

What is the LIV Series?

The breakaway circuit will launch in London in June, at the Centurion Club near St Albans.

It will tee off on June 9, one week before the US Open, with a £ 19m purse for a 48-man field.

Seven more events will follow run by LIV Golf, going to the US (four events) Thailand and Saudi Arabia.

Those seven will each be worth £ 19m. A £ 23m prize for the top three players of the first seven events will be available.

The eighth event will be a team championship with a £ 38m prize – location TBC.

Each event will be richer than the four majors.

The PGA Tour and its European equivalent, the DP World Tour, have threatened Ryder Cup bans for anyone who signs up to the mega-money Saudi series.

Six-time major winner Mickelson is unlikely to play in Rome next year but is risking his future chances of captaining the US.

He has not played since the Saudi International in February, and is on a break from the sport following comments he made in a book calling the Saudis ‘scary motherf ***** s’.

Mickelson’s agent Steve Loy said in a statement yesterday: ‘Phil Mickelson is officially registered to play in the PGA Championship as well as the US Open.

‘We have also filed a request on his behalf for a release to play in the first LIV Golf Invitational.’

Mickelson missed his first Masters since 1994 earlier this year.

The Masters website showed three-times winner Mickelson listed as a past champion not playing at Augusta National Golf Club earlier this month.

Mickelson also lost several sponsors as the result of his comments and with Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau quickly joining the game’s biggest names in pledging their loyalty to the PGA Tour, Rory McIlroy felt the proposed breakaway was ‘dead in the water’.

However, with a proposed league shelved until 2024 in favor of hugely lucrative individual events, some players have been tempted to seek releases from the PGA and DP World Tours in order to play at Centurion Club.

While those releases may be reluctantly granted, several future LIV Golf events are scheduled for the United States and PGA Tour bye-laws state that its members cannot play in a conflicting event in North America.

Mickelson has also registered for the upcoming PGA Championship and US Open.

There will be £ 19million in prize money up for grabs at the Centurion Club in Hertfordshire

There will be £ 19million in prize money up for grabs at the Centurion Club in Hertfordshire

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