Phil Mickelson book author says he was removed from golfer’s press conference

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The author of an unauthorized biography of Phil Mickelson says he was removed from a press conference featuring the golfer on Thursday after LIV Golf’s first-ever tournament completed its first round.

Alan Shipnuck tweeted that he was told the security guards were “acting on orders from their boss”. What the guards meant by this statement was unclear.

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Phil Mickelson of the United States stands on the tee before starting the first round of the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational at the Centurion Club in St. Albans, England on Thursday, June 9, 2022.
(AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

“Well, a few neckless security guys physically pulled me out of Phil Mickelson’s press conference, saying they were acting on orders from their boss, whom they declined to name. (Greg Norman? MBS ?Al Capone?) Never a dull moment here,” Shipnuck wrote.

LIV Golf did not immediately respond to a Fox News Digital request for comment.

Mickelson was one of the biggest names to join LIV Golf in the months leading up to the first event in London. He created a firestorm in February when his comments to Shipnuck for the author’s book, “Phil: The Rip-Roaring (and Unauthorized!) Biography of Golf’s Most Colorful Superstar,” appeared in excerpts from the Fire PitCollective.

PGA TOUR DISCIPLINE GOLFERS “WHO DECIDED TO TURN THEIR BACK” ON THE ORGANIZATION TO PLAY FOR LIV GOLF

Phil Mickelson of the United States watches the flight of his ball after playing off the 4th tee during the first round of the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational at the Centurion Club in St. Albans, England on Thursday, June 9, 2022.

Phil Mickelson of the United States watches the flight of his ball after playing off the 4th tee during the first round of the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational at the Centurion Club in St. Albans, England on Thursday, June 9, 2022.
(AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

“They are scary mothers to get involved with,” Mickelson reportedly said. “We know they killed [Washington Post reporter Jamal] Khashoggi and have a horrible human rights record. They execute people there for being gay. Knowing all of this, why would I even consider it? Because this is a unique opportunity to reshape how the PGA Tour works.

“They were able to get by with manipulative, coercive and heavy-handed tactics because we players had no recourse. A guy as nice as [PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan] seems like, unless you have leverage, it won’t do the right thing. And Saudi money finally gave us that leverage. I’m not even sure I want [the Saudi golf league] succeed, but the mere thought of it allows us to get things done with the [PGA] Round.”

Mickelson ruffled some feathers with his comments, which were seen as excusing Saudi Arabia’s involvement in Khashoggi’s murder. LIV Golf is backed by the Saudi financial arm.

On Wednesday, Mickelson apologized for the comments he made.

Phil Mickelson attends a press conference at Centurion Club, Hertfordshire, England ahead of the LIV Golf Invitational Series on Wednesday June 8, 2022.

Phil Mickelson attends a press conference at Centurion Club, Hertfordshire, England ahead of the LIV Golf Invitational Series on Wednesday June 8, 2022.
(Steven Paston/PA via AP)

“I don’t condone human rights violations at all. No one here does, anywhere in the world. I’m certainly aware of what happened with Jamal Khashoggi, and I think that’s terrible,” he said via ESPN. “I have also seen the good that the game of golf has done throughout history, and I believe that LIV Golf is going to do a lot of good for the game as well. I’m excited for this opportunity, and that’s why I ‘I’m here.”

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Mickelson finished the first round Thursday 1 under par and tied for seventh place.

Grover Z. Barnes