- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
On the heels of competing at the controversial Saudi-funded LIV Golf Invitational Series, Phil Mickelson’s name continues to appear in headlines in the golf and overall sports world.
PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan suspended Mickelson and 16 other PGA Tour players for an unspecified amount of time because of their participation in the LIV series. The punishment, however, does not affect their qualification to play at the 122nd U.S. Open in Brookline, Mass, starting Thursday, June 16.
While punished, Mickelson refuses to resign his PGA Tour membership, telling reporters in London, “I earned my lifetime membership and I don't want to give that up, I don't believe I should have to.”
In a press conference preceding the U.S. Open, Mickelson and golfers who competed in the LIV received a letter from the survivors’ group 9/11 Families United that accused them of sportswashing and engaging in “a betrayal not only of us, but of all your countrymen.”
Phil Mickelson expressed his “deep empathy” for the families who addressed him but did not quell the anger the group has.
"Phil knows exactly what he's doing, and he and his fellow LIV golfers should be ashamed,” said Terry Strada, national chair of 9/11 Families United, in a statement to USA TODAY Sports in response to Mickelson’s comments.
Rory McIlroy, who is also competing at the U.S. Open, expressed his “disappointment” in Mickelson.
“As a golfer, I have the utmost respect for Phil,” McIlroy said. “I've been disappointed with how he's went about what he's done. But I think he has come back and shown some remorse about how he's handled some things, so I think he's learned from that.
“Am I disappointed in him taking the route that he's taken? I am. But I still respect him tremendously.”
Brandel Chamblee said ahead of the U.S. Open that Mickelson took “a flamethrower to the very PGA Tour that provided a great stage for you to amass unimaginable wealth”
“This is one of the saddest days in the history of golf. Watching these players come together for money and show to the world … they are showing us that they are the greediest, most self-serving, self-interested, willfully blind players in the world of golf today.”
"I can't emphasize enough how much empathy I have for them." Phil Mickelson tells USA TODAY's Christine Brennan after receiving criticism from 9/11 families for playing in the Saudi LIV.https://t.co/wHOXsyd9Yz pic.twitter.com/tQsrVR74Q0
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) June 15, 2022
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Phil Mickelson at US Open after controversy sparked after LIV series