Phil Mickelson risks lifetime PGA Tour ban by signing up for Saudi-backed event

Phil Mickelson will play in the LIV Golf Invitational Series

Phil Mickelson will play in the LIV Golf Invitational Series (Image: Getty)

Phil Mickelson will attend the inaugural event of the Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series this week, organizers have announced.

The 51-year-old six-time Major winner has not played since controversial comments about the Breakaway Series and the PGA Tour were published in February.

Organizers have now confirmed that he will take part in the tournament at Centurion Club, which starts on Thursday.

Phil Mickelson retired from the PGA Championship last month (Image: Getty)

Greg Norman, Chief Executive and Commissioner of LIV Golf said: “Phil Mickelson is undoubtedly one of the greatest golfers of this generation.

“His contributions to the sport and connection to fans around the world cannot be overstated and we are grateful to have him.

‘He strengthens an exciting field for London, where we are proud to herald a new era for golf.”

Mickelson is one of six players added to the roster for this week’s event, bringing the total field to 48.

The others are Itthipat Buranatanyarat, Viraj Madappa, Travis Smyth, Ian Snyman and Kevin Yuan.

Mickelson, who risks a lifetime ban from the PGA Tour by signing up to play, said in a statement posted to Twitter: “First and foremost, I want to apologize once again to the many people I offended with my comments a few months ago and hurt.

International Series England - Day Four

Greg Norman has jumped to defend Phil Mickelson (Picture: Getty)

“I’ve made mistakes in some of the things I’ve said and done in my career. Taking time and self-reflection was very humbling.

“I had to start prioritizing the people I love the most and work on becoming a better version of myself.

“I’ve spent that time with Amy and her loved ones. I have continued the therapy with commitment and intention and I feel healthy and much more peaceful. I realize I still have a long way to go, but I look forward to the work that lies ahead.”

Mickelson explained some of the reasons why he decided to support the LIV series.

He continued, “I’m ready to come back to play the game I love, but after 32 years this new path is a fresh start, one that’s exciting for me at this stage in my career and is clearly transformative, isn’t it only for myself, but ideal for the game and my colleagues.

“I also love the progressive format and I think it will be exciting for the fans. Just as importantly, it provides balance and allows me to focus on a healthier approach to life on and off the pitch. I’m incredibly grateful for what this game and the PGA Tour have given me.

“I’d like to think I gave something back too, but now I’m excited about this new opportunity.”

Mickelson added: “I’m thrilled to be starting LIV Golf and I appreciate everyone involved. I also intend to play the majors.

“I fully appreciate and respect that some may disagree with this decision and have strong opinions and I understand that. I have a renewed spirit and excitement for the game.

“I’m incredibly grateful for the support of my fans, partners, friends and colleagues and I hope those feelings, relationships and support continue over time.”

MORE : Defending champion Phil Mickelson withdraws from PGA Championship

MORE : Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson play at the US PGA Championship in Southern Hills

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General Sports Phil Mickelson risks lifetime PGA Tour ban by signing up for Saudi-backed event

Nate Jones

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