Hope and anticipation for Greg Norman and his backers that many of the leading PGA Tour big names would sign up to the new golf super league were dented in recent months as one by one, including Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods, Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson and even Bryson DeChambeau, to name just a few PGA Tour golfers, have all confirmed they will stick by the PGA Tour despite the introduction of the new league.
The new golf super league backed by Norman's LIV Golf Investments company and Saudi billions will tee up this summer with the first event at Centurion Club in England. The first tournament in the Saudi Golf League will tee off this summer at Centurion Club in England, one week before the US Open.
A full list of entrants for the first event of the new super league has not yet been released, but it's fair to assume none of the world's top 20 will be involved. It is unknown as to whether Mickelson will compete in the new league moving forwards, especially since he has decided to take some time away from the game due to his controversial remarks made to golf biographer Alan Shipnuck.
Mickelson is wanting to take time out of the game in order to work on himself as a person. Shipnuck released an excerpt of Mickelson's words surrounding the subject of the PGA Tour and Saudi Golf League four weeks ago following a conversation they shared back in November 2021.
Shipnuck claims Mickelson told him that he didn't pretend to be excited about "hitching his fortunes to Saudi Arabia" Most damagingly for Mickelson, he called the Saudis "scary motherf***ers" and suggested their money had finally given him and the players leverage to take on the PGA Tour.
Although Norman admits Phil Mickelson “made a mistake” in regards to his comments surrounding both Saudi Arabia and the PGA Tour, Norman has confirmed the door is still "wide open" for Mickelson should he still wish to join, despite golf's oldest major champion taking an indefinite break from the sport following his controversial remarks surrounding the PGA Tour and Saudi Arabia.
Norman says he has spoken to Mickelson on the phone and told the American "the door is wide open" to play in his new league. "I won’t comment on the comments," Norman said on the GOLF Subpar podcast.
"People make mistakes. We all say the wrong thing about the wrong thing at the wrong time. "Some of it is more public when you’re a public figure, right? At the end of the day, as far as I’m concerned, as a player, I always want Phil to come back and play the game of golf.
"He’s promoted the game of golf extremely well. Not only for all the tours that he’s played on, but also for all the corporations that he’s been involved with. "The fans are really behind Phil, and he did make a mistake, there’s no question about it.
I will give Phil the time. "I haven’t spoken to him since. I’m respecting his wishes about stepping away and having the opportunity to regroup himself. "But I’ve had numerous conversations with Phil before that about how passionate he was about LIV Golf and the opportunities that he could have.
"I feel sad for Phil. I feel for Phil. But like I said, he’s always going to have an open door to the game of golf as far as I’m concerned."