Phil played in the league despite saying the country had a “horrible record of human rights.”
Phil said … “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 shape how the PGA Tour operates.”
Mickelson apologized for his comments after playing a round in the Saudi league, saying he was taken out of context and his statements were supposed to be off the record … though he admitted his words were regrettable and offensive.
In his mea culpa, Phil said … “It was reckless, I offended people, and I am deeply sorry for my choice of words,” Mickelson said in his statement. “I’m beyond disappointed and will make every effort to self-reflect and learn from this.”
He continued, “My intent was never to hurt anyone and I’m so sorry to the people I have negatively impacted. This has always been about supporting the players and the game and I appreciate all the people who have given me the benefit of the doubt.”
Phil also hinted he could take a step away from the game for a while following the firestorm … including the fact he “desperately” needs “some time away.”
Now, Callaway is taking some time away from Mickelson after a 17-year partnership.