Author of a card of 72 (par) to start his week at St Andrews, Phil Mickelson reconsidered his decision not to have taken part in the celebrations of the 150th The Open in history and on his position vis-à-vis of LIV Golf, which he joined at the beginning of June for the modest sum of 200 million dollars.
Lionel VELLA, in St Andrews (Scotland)
Three birdies, three bogeys… For his sixth The Open at St Andrews, Phil Mickelson limited breakage. His 72 (par) sent him midday to around 40th place. But it’s on another much hotter topic right now than the American, winner of The Open in 2013 at Muirfieldhad to pour out in the mixed zone for a long time.
Why did he, for example, “snubbed” the celebrations of the 150th Open in history? Did he himself make the decision not to take part? ” The R&A contacted me a few weeks ago and told me “Look, we don’t think it’s a good idea for you to come, but if you want to, you can. » I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it, so I said ok. We agreed to announce that it would be better if I did not participate. »
Curiously, and despite this highly palpable tension as soon as one approaches the subject of the LIV GolfLefty is having a great time being here, in Scotland, in the Holy of Holies…” I love being here. Everyone here loves golf and we find this place very spiritual. To be able to come home here and compete again – I think it’s my sixth here – that’s great! I had a great time here (Editor’s note, he finished 11th in 2000). I also won the Dunhill Cup in 1996 with Steve Stricker and Mark O’Meara. »
I made the right decision. And I’m delighted, as I say, to have the opportunity to play competitively while having time outside of golf to spend on something else.
” What a pleasure to play on this course, to see its greatness when you have different winds to negotiate, when you see bunkers that you don’t even know are there. I love playing and competing here. It’s just a special place for me. »
One thing is certain, he does not regret his choice to have joined the dissident LIV Golf League. ” I made the right decision. And I’m delighted, as I say, to have the opportunity to play competitively while having time outside of golf to devote myself to other things. I freed myself a lot of time. I couldn’t be happier. As such, I can’t wait to go to New Jersey (July 29-31 in Bedminster) and play another event there. »
Definitely in good spirits, the San Diego southpaw also bounced back when asked what he liked most about Tiger Woods’ rather scathing statements at a press conference on Tuesday.
“ I respect his opinion. I have a lot of respect for him. I think everyone is going to have strong opinions on this, and I certainly respect his. »
I would miss a LIV Golf player to win this Sunday and everything would be fine in the new world of Phil Mickelson!
Photo: Harry How / GETTY IMAGES EUROPE / Getty Images via AFP