Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images
Justin Thomas called Phil Mickelson’s recent comments regarding his reasoning for potentially jumping to the Saudi-backed Super Golf League “egotistical.”
Rex Hoggard of the Golf Channel relayed Thomas’ remarks from the Genesis Invitational on Thursday.
“Seems like a bit of a pretty, you know, egotistical statement. It’s like he’s done a lot of great things for the PGA Tour—it’s a big reason it is where it is—but him and others that are very adamant about that, if they’re that passionate, go ahead [to the super league]. I don’t think anybody’s stopping them.”
Mickelson made his remarks in a November 2021 interview with Alan Shipnuck for the golf writer’s upcoming biography, Phil: The Rip-Roaring (and Unauthorized!) Biography of Golf’s Most Colorful Superstar. Per Hoggard, the comments were recently published ahead of the book’s release.
Among other comments, Mickelson explained why he’s in talks to join the upstart league. Of note, he acknowledged numerous Saudi human rights atrocities but said he’s willing to look past them because of his issues with the PGA Tour:
“We know they killed [Washington Post reporter and U.S. resident Jamal] Khashoggi and have a horrible record on human rights. They execute people over there for being gay. Knowing all of this, why would I even consider it? Because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape how the PGA Tour operates. They’ve been able to get by with manipulative, coercive, strong-arm tactics because we, the players, had no recourse.”
Mickelson also said that “if the Tour doesn’t do the right thing, there is a high likelihood it’s [the Super Golf League] going to happen.”
Per Hoggard, Thomas said he hadn’t read the Shipnuck article when he was informed of some of Mickelson’s remarks.
Thomas wasn’t the only golfer who made comments about Mickelson.
“I think Phil speaks for Phil,” Joel Dahmen said in part.
“Has he said some brilliant things through the years? Sure. Has he said some not-so-brilliant things? I think that’s true. But Phil doesn’t speak for us and he doesn’t speak for me.”
The PGA Tour is currently at the Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, California.