Phil Mickelson is seeking a permission from the PGA Tour to join the likes of Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and Louis Oosthuizen and play in the first event of Greg Norman’s Saudi-funded LIV Golf Invitational event, which is scheduled to take place at the Centurion Club in Hertfordshire from June 9-11.
The 51-year-old American, who has not played competitively since the Saudi Invitational in February, missed the Masters in April as he took a break from the game after apologising for his criticism of Saudi Arabia’s regime, but he has registered to play in next month’s US PGA Championship at Southern Hills and the US Open at Brookline in June, as well as the LIV Golf Invitational’s opening event.
“This request complies with the deadline of 25 April set forth by the PGA Tour to compete in a conflicting tour event,” said Steve Loy, the co-president of Mickelson’s management company SportFive. “Our client, Phil Mickelson, is officially registered to play in the PGA Championship as well as the US Open. We have also filed a request on his behalf for a release to play in the first LIV Golf Invitational in London. Phil currently has no concrete plans on when and where he will play. Any actions taken are in no way a reflection of a final decision made, but rather to keep all options open.”
The PGA Tour and the DP World Tour have threatened Ryder Cup bans for anyone who signs up to the Saudi-backed breakaway series, meaning that Westwood, Garcia and Poulter could all compromise their future hopes of playing in and captaining the European Ryder Cup team should they take part in the LIV Golf Invitational Series. 2023 Ryder Cup captain Henrik Stenson has rejected approaches to take part in the series, but it is understood that 15 of the world’s top 100-ranked players have also asked to take part in the event, although the names of all those lined up for the tournament have yet to be released.
DP World Tour players have until May 14 to apply for a dispensation to play at the Centurion tournament, which boasts a prize fund of $25m and a first prize of $4m, but clashes with the DP World Tour’s Scandinavian Mixed tournament in Denmark, which has a first prize of $360,000 and a total prize fund of $2m.