Phil Mickelson has been blasted by hundreds of golf fans on social media after he ripped into the running of the PGA Tour as talk about a Saudi Golf Super League intensifies.
Mickelson, who fired a bogey-free 67 on day one of the controversial Saudi International on Thursday, hit out at the PGA Tour on Wednesday when telling Golf Digest that their greed as a circuit is "beyond obnoxious".
Mickelson told the publication:
"It's not public knowledge, all that goes on. But the players don't have access to their own media. If the tour wanted to end any threat, they could just hand back the media rights to the players. But they would rather throw $25 million here and $40 million there than give back the roughly $20 billion in digital assets they control. Or give up access to the $50-plus million they make every year on their own media channel.
"There are many issues, but that is one of the biggest. For me personally, it's not enough that they are sitting on hundreds of millions of digital moments. They also have access to my shots, access I do not have. They also charge companies to use shots I have hit. And when I did ‘The Match’—there have been five of them—the tour forced me to pay them $1 million each time. For my own media rights. That type of greed is, to me, beyond obnoxious."
With Saudi millions dangling in front of Mickelson as he contemplates joining a Saudi Golf Super League, now at the age of 51 years old, he added he is more than open for discussion.
"I know that I will be criticised. The media rights are but a small fraction of everything else, and it's the Tour's obnoxious greed that has really opened the door for opportunities elsewhere."
Mickelson's career earnings on the PGA Tour stand at just shy of $95 million, which is second in the all-time list behind Tiger Woods, who has amassed $120 million.
It is understood that Mickelson is seriously considering switching from the PGA Tour to Greg Norman's Saudi-backed Golf Super League for a huge sum of money.
Should Mickelson, or any other PGA Tour pro or DP World Tour pro decide to switch their allegiance, then they will more than likely be banned from ever competing in a PGA Tour or DP World Tour event again. This also includes the Ryder Cup.
Ian Poulter is said to have been offered in the region of $30 million to compete in such a super league, while Dustin Johnson, who defends the Saudi International this week, laughed at such a number, hinting he's been offered millions more than that.
Bryson DeChambeau, who is also teeing up in Saudi Arabia this week, is said to have been offered $135 million.
After listening to Mickelson's comments on Wednesday, it's fair to say golf's oldest major champion has ruffled plenty of feathers not only at the PGA Tour this week, but also among many golf fans.
Here's a look at what Mickelson's critics are saying:
Nothing like biting the hand that feeds you everything he has is because of the PGA tour I'm very disappointed and fill but I guess he's always been like that the PGA Championship will be his last PGA Tour win or senior win let him go for the money the hell with him— Al Mac 55 (@Mark_Al_Mac) February 3, 2022
Photo says it all... pic.twitter.com/gCfS9AlQfq— Kev O’Toole (@kev_toole) February 3, 2022
Phil should look elsewhere. He had one top 10 in 2021.— Billy Meyers (@BillyMeyers18) February 3, 2022
well, it has also made him obnoxiously wealthy, so...I love Phil but really? He's like 1 of 20 players that flys private jets to his events.— RonGolfs (@GolfsRon) February 3, 2022
So off to Norman’s Saudi Tour then, some may say fuelled by ‘obnoxious greed’??— GraemeMc (@gmcd3) February 3, 2022
Yeah greed Phil? Tour made you rich beyond imagination now turning on them wow— Jason Stampka (@jstammy) February 3, 2022
He’s setting the table for biting the hand that has fed him yet he speaks about greed would like to know his thoughts on betrayal— gonegolfing (@gonegolfing9) February 3, 2022
Phil Mickelson, the MULTI-MILLIONAIRE golfer accused of SHADY STOCK TRADES/DEALS is upset over someone else’s greed. That’s freaking hilarious.— Ludwig (@Ludwig77) February 3, 2022
He didn't have any problem taking their $8 million on a popularity contest.— Allan Renz (@allanrenz) February 3, 2022