AL NUROOJ, Saudi Arabia — Never before during his three decades as a professional golfer has the phrase, “What will Phil Mickelson do next?” been so apt. Or intriguing. Or mysterious. For the last few months, many questions have hung over the future of the game’s greatest left-handed practitioner.
Will he make the jump to the still-to-be-born Saudi-backed Super Golf League?
Will he spurn those advances and stick with the PGA Tour on which he has 45 victories?
Will he, at the age of 51, stroll off in the direction of the PGA Tour Champions?
Or will he be able to do a bit of all of the above, after the lawyers inevitably get involved?
The resolutions to those issues, as of right now, remain unknown. But one thing can now be revealed. Should Mickelson end the most frustrating aspect of his storied career, put those infamous six runners-up finishes behind him and finally win a U.S. Open, he will call an immediate halt to his playing days.
“If I win the U.S. Open, I will retire,” he told Golf Digest in an interview on Wednesday. “That would be my last tournament. I will have achieved the career Grand Slam and I won’t have anything more to prove.”
More immediately, however, Mickelson has other matters on his active mind. Serious matters. Potentially life-changing matters. And matters for which he has become something of a poster boy. While Mickelson says that “pretty much every player in the top 100 has been contacted at some point,” he has been the man most closely associated—publicly at least—with the aforementioned SGL.
That stance has or will bring him into direct conflict with the tour he has played on as a professional since 1992. Along with the DP World Tour, the PGA Tour has taken an aggressive posture in response to what the Saudis may or may not come up with to lure away the top players. So if Mickelson was to lead the charge toward the SGL, it is safe to assume he would be the subject of some criticism. “Lack of loyalty” would surely be mentioned.
But that would be an opinion, Mickelson said, that doesn’t fully take into account the PGA Tour’s relationship with its players, particularly in the realm of media rights. As ever, he offered, there are two sides to this dispute.
“It’s not public knowledge, all that goes on,” Mickelson said. “But the players don’t have access to their own media. If the tour wanted to end any threat [from Saudi or anywhere else], 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,” he continued. “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.”
The PGA Tour declined to comment on Mickelson’s comments on Wednesday. However, the tour has previously cited that its business model is consistent with other professional sports leagues in that it relies on media rights to maximize revenue. In a Nov. 21, 2021 memo to players, PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan said 85 percent of the tour’s consolidated revenue is tournament-related, either from sponsors or from domestic and international media. In the memo, Monahan also noted that 55 percent of the tour’s 2021 revenue will be directed back to players.
There are other examples of what Mickelson clearly sees as golf’s equivalent of “intellectual property.” During the 2010 Masters, he famously hit a shot from the pine straw to the 13th green at Augusta National. Later, someone wanted to use seven seconds of that clip. They had to pay $30,000 per second every time it aired. The total cost was $3.5 million, which was three times what Mickelson earned for winning the tournament. (Editor’s Note: Although the Masters counts as an official PGA Tour event, the event and its media are not owned by the PGA Tour.)
“I’m not sure how this is going to play out,” Mickelson said. “My ultimate loyalty is to the game of golf and what it has given me. I am so appreciative of the life it has provided. I don’t know what is going to happen. I don’t know where things are headed. But I know I will be criticized. That’s not my concern. All that would do is dumb down one of the most intricate issues in sports. It would be so naive to not factor in all of the complexities. The media rights are but a small fraction of everything else. And it is the tour’s obnoxious greed that has really opened the door for opportunities elsewhere.”
In the brave new world Mickelson would like to see and help create, he has answers to his own questions. And plans he would like to make.
“Why hasn’t golf had cameras and microphones on players and caddies?” he asked. “Because the player would not benefit, only the tour [so players resist wearing them]. Take this Netflix project that is underway. None of the players are getting paid. But the tour is getting paid a lot of money. As is Augusta National. As is the USGA. But if the players had their own channel, maybe they put up their own content and we start to see golf presented a bit more intimately.
“If I had access to my own channel and access to my own media, I would have a camera and microphone on my hat,” he went on. “And on my [caddie] brother’s hat. And on my golf bag with a 360 view. And I would bring the viewers in. They would see and hear what is going on. But none of that happens [currently] because why would any player do that? To make more millions for the tour? They already make enough. The tour only understands leverage. And now the players are getting some of that. So things are changing and will continue to change. I just hope the leverage doesn’t go away. If it does, we’ll be back to the status quo.”
Still, other than his on-going discontent with the PGA Tour’s media rights policy, all is well in Mickelson’s world. With their three children out of the house and off to college, he and wife Amy are indulging in some exotic travel. Last December, the pair spent time in Iceland and Denmark. Next week will see them skiing in Montana. And a trip to Rwanda and Tanzania is planned for later this year.
“I want to see the gorillas,” said Mickelson with a smile. “I’m still driven to work hard and play and compete. But I’m also not blindly obsessed. My life balance has shifted. I’m enjoying the present, wherever I’m at.”
Lest we forget too, this is a current major champion we are talking about—the oldest in history—after his epic victory in the PGA Championship at Kiawah last May. It was something of an oasis among much mediocrity, however. Only occasional forays onto the Champions Tour, where he won twice in 2021, were highlights.
Oh, there was one more. As one of American captain Steve Stricker’s assistants at the Ryder Cup, Mickelson found a new joy in the biennial contest with the Europeans. The result, a record-breaking 19-9 hammering of the Old World, didn’t hurt either.
“I really enjoyed being a vice-captain and spending time with Davis Love, Jim Furyk, Fred Couples, Zach Johnson and Steve,” he said. “I loved being in the room with those guys to talk strategy and share our experiences, positive and negative, over the years. All to give the players of today an opportunity to succeed.
“That was really fun,” he continued. “I felt no stress. The Ryder Cup is the most pressure-packed week. At least for me. So I had a much more enjoyable experience. Amy couldn’t believe it. She had never seen me so calm at a Ryder Cup—and enjoying it so much. It was always the hardest week of the year for me, as much as I love it.”
Elon Musk and Grimes’ Relationship Timeline: The Way They Were
A roller coaster romance. Elon Musk and Grimes, whose real name is Claire Boucher, were first linked in May 2018 and have since welcomed a son together.
The couple made their red carpet debut in May 2018, shortly after reports surfaced of their relationship. However, it has not always been smooth sailing for the businessman and the singer. They weathered split rumors and a very public feud with Azealia Banks in August 2018 before reuniting.
Fans speculated about their status for months, as the pair continued to be spotted together everywhere from the Kardashian-Jenner family Christmas party to China.
Musk and Grimes seemingly confirmed they were back on when she announced in January 2020 that she was pregnant. Though she did not caption her Instagram photo that showed off her baby bump, she referred to herself as “knocked up” in the comments section.
Nearly two months later, the Canada native revealed in a Rolling Stone profile that the Tesla CEO was the father of her child. She opened up in the interview about the impact of their relationship on her career. “No one believes me about this, but I just did not understand what I was getting into at all,” she explained. “Not that I’m mad about it. I just didn’t think it would be a thing. The s–t that’s happened with my boyfriend this year has overwritten so much of my life’s work.”
Grimes described her pregnancy as a major decision, made in part because of her trust in Musk. “For a girl, it’s sacrificing your body and your freedom. It’s a pretty crazy sacrifice and only half of the population has to do it. It was really profound to me when I decided I was going to do it, to actually go through the act of like, y’know, unprotected sex,” she admitted. “I’m just like, ‘I have sacrificed my power in this moment. I have, like, capitulated.’ And I have spent my whole life avoiding that situation. I have never capitulated to anything, so it was just a profound commitment.”
She added: “I do actually just really love my boyfriend. So I was like, ‘You know, sure.’”
In September 2021, the businessman told Page Six, “[Grimes and I] are semi-separated but still love each other, see each other frequently and are on great terms.”
The “Realiti” artist confirmed in a March 2022 Vanity Fair profile that the pair welcomed daughter Exa Dark Sideræl Musk via surrogate in December 2021. Several hours after the article’s publication, Grimes confirmed that the pair had called it quits.
“Me and E have broken up *again* since the writing of this article haha, but he’s my best friend and the love of my life, and my life and art are forever dedicated to The Mission now,” she tweeted at the time. “I think Devin wrote that part of the story rly well. Sique – peace out.”
Scroll to revisit the milestones from Grimes and Musk’s relationship:
Grimes and Elon Musk at the MET Gala Elon Musk and Grimes Relationship Timeline
Credit: Matt Baron/Shutterstock
Reports claimed the musician and the entrepreneur were dating in May 2018. The two debuted their romance at the Met Gala at the time. She later confirmed that their love connection was born when he messaged her after seeing a tweet she wrote about thought experiment Roko’s Basilisk.
Elon Musk and Grimes at Hyperloop Pod Competition Elon Musk and Grimes Relationship Timeline
Musk and Grimes attended the Hyperloop Pod Competition with his five sons in July 2018. He shares twins and triplets with ex-wife Justine Wilson.
Tiger Woods chastises Phil Mickelson for his Saudi viewpoint
TULSA, Okla. — Tiger Woods is all about majors and legacy, a point he drove home Tuesday in a sharp rebuke of Phil Mickelson and his support of a Saudi-funded golf venture that led to Lefty not defending his title at the PGA Championship.
Even as Woods resumes a remarkable return from a car crash 15 months ago that nearly led to his right leg being amputated, the PGA Championship cannot escape the absence of Mickelson and speculation about who might sign up for Greg Norman’s new Saudi-backed golf series.
Woods said he has not tried to reach out to Mickelson since his self-imposed hiatus from golf three months ago, mainly because of their difference of opinion on how golf should be run.
“I understand different viewpoints, but I believe in legacies. I believe in major championships. I believe in big events, comparisons to historical figures of the past,” Woods said.
“There’s plenty of money out here,” he said. “The tour is growing. But it’s just like any other sport — it’s like tennis — you have to go out there and earn it. You’ve got to go out there and play for it. We have opportunity to go ahead and do it. It’s just not guaranteed up front.”
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That was a reference to some of the Public Investment Fund money out of Saudi Arabia being offered to players to join Norman and his LIV Golf Investments. According to various reports out of Britain, some top players were being offered more than the $120 million Woods has made in career PGA Tour earnings.
Mickelson showed his hand in two interviews published in February. He accused the PGA Tour of “obnoxious greed” while playing in Saudi Arabia, and more incendiary comments followed when Alan Shipnuck published an excerpt of his unauthorized biography on Mickelson.
Mickelson said the Saudis were “scary mother-(expletives) to get involved with,” and then dismissed its human rights atrocities — such as the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi — by saying it was worth it to gain leverage to make changes on the PGA Tour.
He also said he didn’t care if the Saudi league failed, as long as the tour made changes he wanted.
Mickelson decided last Friday he would not play at Southern Hills, missing out on a chance to be celebrated for his historic win last year at Kiawah Island when at age 50 he became golf’s oldest major champion.
He is the first PGA champion not to defend since Woods was recovering from knee surgery in 2008 and skipped Oakland Hills.
“It’s always disappointing when the defending champion is not here,” Woods said. “Phil has said some things that I think a lot of us who are committed to the tour and committed to the legacy of the tour have pushed back against, and he’s taken some personal time, and we all understand that. But I think that some of his views on how the tour could be run, should be run, been a lot of disagreement there.”
“He’s just taking his time and we all wish him the best when he comes back.”
Woods, meanwhile, is back and more optimistic than he was a month ago at the Masters. He said those who are close to him were thrilled to see him walk all 72 holes at Augusta National, his first time walking while competing since the Feb. 23, 2021, accident in Los Angeles that shattered bones in his right leg and ankle.
All he could think about the day after was a bad putting week that led to a 78-78 weekend.
“I did not see it that way Monday,” he said. “I was a little ticked I didn’t putt well, and felt like I was hitting it good enough and I wish I had the stamina.”
He said the Monday after the Masters was a tough day of recovery, and then he went right back to work trying to gain strength and endurance.
“It’s better than the last time I played a tournament, which is good,” Woods said.
He is the defending PGA champion at Southern Hills, having won by two shots in 2007 for his 13th of what is now 15 majors. And he barely recognized the course after a restoration project that brought back a few meandering creeks and returned the edges of the putting surfaces so they funnel shots away from the green.
The bigger challenge is the players he is trying to beat, which make up the strongest field of the majors. Woods is 46, and Mickelson showed a year ago that age is only a number. However, Mickelson had been playing a full schedule all along. Woods, with his injuries, would appear to be limited to the four majors this year at most.
One help is the nature of the walk. Augusta National is among the toughest in golf. Southern Hills features a sharp drop from the first and 10th tees and tough climb at the end of each nine. Otherwise, it’s a relatively gentle stroll.
“Figured the first mountain you climbed was Everest. That’s the steepest golf course you’re going to play and that was the first one you climbed, and climbed it,” Woods said. “It’s going to get flatter and better.”
He still struggles on certain days. He said it’s never as easy as it might look.
“But I feel like I’m doing better,” he said. “I’m having more days which are better, more positive.”
Gavin Rossdale reveals he’s been messaging Tiger Woods’ ex
Gavin Rossdale has revealed he’s been exchanging text messages with Elin Nordegren, the ex-wife of Tiger Woods. The Voice judge said the pair were initially set up by a mutual pal who thinks they’d be a good match. Gavin, 51, told The Sun: “A friend was like, ‘You have to meet Elin. She’s amazing.’ He was trying to connect us. So I’ve texted her a couple of times to say hello. She lives in Florida. She’s a really great girl. But I’ve never met her.”
Gavin has three sons – Kingston, ten, Zuna, eight, and three-year-old Apollo – with his ex-wife Gwen Stefani. He admitted that he is under pressure from his boys to find a new partner, but worries that his chaotic home life could prove problematic. “I look at my boys running around the house with Nerf guns and throwing footballs and I think, ‘How would anyone survive?’ I’d be like, ‘Oh, sorry about that – someone’s sat on your sunglasses.’ And for the last two years, not to be with anyone, it’s been really healthy for me.”
Gavin has said his split from Gwen Stefani has given him a new outlook
Gavin and Gwen separated in August 2015 after 13 years of marriage. In a previous interview with Us Weekly, the Bush frontman said he felt the split had given him a new outlook on life. “We are all products of nuclear families,” he remarked. “My parents have been married three times each. I’m just a junior. I never thought I would get divorced. But it just happens. All these life things…
STORY: Gavin Rossdale – A look back at his past loves
“There’s been a lot of pain and sadness. It really teaches you perspective on life. It’s really health, happiness and safety. After that, I don’t know what there is other than that. I’m not sure I’ll ever go at it [marriage] again. I’m trying to be a really good dad and make good records and shoot good TV shows.”
What Brad Pitt had to say about Jennifer Aniston before cheating on her with Angelina Jolie
Brad Pitt betrayed and left his wife of five years, Jennifer Aniston, to later marry Angelina Jolie.
The Ad Astra star was allegedly cheating on Aniston with Jolie, something that came as a shock to everyone around the world.
Right before his marriage broke with the Friends starlet, Pitt had passed heartwarming comments about her.
Showering Aniston with praises Pitt said, “Her emphasis is the home, friends, and family. We all kind of crowd around her like moths to the flame.”
He told Vanity Fair, “She’s like a magnet; she brings a lot of people together that way. Jen’s the fireplace; she provides the warmth.”
Reiterating his thoughts while talking to Oprah Winfrey, Pitt revealed, “She’s like that fire we crowd around for warmth. This is truly genuine. There’s not an ill-intention bone on this woman’s body. She’s really extraordinary and she’s taught me a lot that way. She brings people that way.”
Aniston, on the other hand, believed Pitt changed after meeting Jolie on the sets of Mr and Mrs Smith.
At the time, Aniston was reeling with pain as her show Friends was coming to an end.
She admitted that she was not good with families splitting up.
“It was hard to have such a wonderful constant in your life, a place to go every day, and then all of a sudden it’s not there,” Aniston said.
The actress said she tried to reach out to Pitt for support. Unfortunately, he was no longer there for her.
“He just wasn’t there for me,” Aniston added.
US gymnast Simone Biles’ ‘boyfriend’ sends warning to Zac Efron after Olympic superstar shares kiss with her crush
US gymnast Simone Biles might have loved meeting celebrity crush Zac Efron, but it seems not everyone was impressed.
The 19-year-old superstar, who picked up an astounding four gold medals at the Rio Olympic Games, went gaga over Zac after meeting her crush earlier this week but, Brazilian 22-year-old Arthur Mariano appears to have got a tad jealous as he had a few choice words for the actor.
Sharing a snap of the pair at the Games, Arthur jokingly wrote: “Hey @zacefron I saw her first… She is my girl.”
“Proud of you Simone! You are phenomal in whole world and special. You made history. Love u” (sic)
While the couple aren’t reportedly together, it’s clear he’s a huge Simone fan and earlier this week wrote: “Congrats BABE! You are doing an amazing job here at the Olympics. The crowd and all Brazilians (including me) love YOU!”
Zac Efron KISSES Simone Biles as Olympic gold medalist finally meets her celebrity crush
One of the stand out performers of the 2016 Games, the teenager finally got her wish to meet Zac earlier this week as he surprised her live on TV.
The actor posed for a string of SnapChat videos and pictures with the athlete after surprising the United States gymnastics team during an interview on the Today show.
She’s pretty smitten ( Image: Twitter)
When presenter Hoda Kotb teased Simone about the possibility of meeting Zac, she admitted: “If you bring him out, I think I’m gonna pass out.”
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