LIV Golf: Phil Mickelson defends Henrik Stenson over "foolish" SGF snub

Multiple major champion Phil Mickelson came to the defence of Henrik Stenson over his axing from the Swedish Golf Federation at LIV Golf Jeddah.

LIV Golf: Phil Mickelson defends Henrik Stenson over "foolish" SGF snub
LIV Golf: Phil Mickelson defends Henrik Stenson over "foolish" SGF snub

There was so much to unpack from Phil Mickelson's press conference before LIV Golf Jeddah, but his defence of Henrik Stenson largely went unnoticed. 

In late September, Stenson was dumped by his home country's golf programme - the Swedish Golf Federation - due to his association with LIV Golf

In a statement, the federation's secretary general Gunnar Hakansson said Stenson could "no longer act as a role model for Swedish junior golfers". 

Related: PGA Tour pro suggests a new name for LIV Golf

LIV Golf: Phil Mickelson defends Henrik Stenson over

That move followed the 46-year-old's sacking as captain of Ryder Cup Europe when he broke his word and joined Greg Norman's breakaway tour. 

Stenson said in March he was "fully committed" to the captaincy but signed for LIV Golf in July, winning on his debut in Bedminster before firing a shot towards Ryder Cup Europe. 

It wasn't immediately clear whether or not the Swedish Golf Federation had cut ties with Stenson forever. 

Related: DJ makes complete hash of this hole in Jeddah

But Mickelson weighed in on this topic at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club on Thursday.

Mickelson, who showed off his hilarious henna tattoo that really needs to be seen to be believed, claimed that in the end the Swedish Golf Federation will end up looking "foolish". 

Here's the full exchange:

Q. In Sweden Henrik Stenson has received a massive criticism since he joined the LIV Tour and a few weeks ago the Swedish Golf Association ended their cooperation and partnership with him. How do you feel for him?

PHIL MICKELSON: I think that it's very shortsighted of the Swedish Golf Association. I think they're making a big mistake. I think given all that Henrik Stenson has done to grow the game within the country of Sweden. From having his event and his partnership with Annika [Sorenstam] and having events, growing the game with kids, putting capital through his foundation in the game, I think it's shortsighted, but also disrespectful for all that he's done for the game of golf. I think in the end they're the ones that are going to look foolish.

LIV Golf: Phil Mickelson defends Henrik Stenson over

Stenson's replacement, Luke Donald, recently visited Rome ahead of next September's Ryder Cup. 

After meeting the Pope, he said any LIV Golf bitterness will be "swept aside" when the Europeans meet the U.S. at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club. 

Elsewhere, Sergio Garcia has confirmed that his Ryder Cup career is over. 

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