Phil supports Rory: Time to ‘let go of our hostilities’

Phil supports Rory: Time to ‘let go of our hostilities’
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Phil Mickelson urged golf fans Thursday not to “pile on” after Rory McIlroy regretted that he was “too judgmental” of some players who defected for LIV Golf and said that the Saudi-backed league’s model has “exposed the flaws” in the PGA Tour’s structure.

On an episode of the “Stick to Football” podcast that was released Wednesday, McIlroy made several headline-worthy remarks, most notably that he had come to accept Saudi involvement in the sport and that he shouldn’t have been as harsh toward some who left for LIV. Though he said that he didn’t “begrudge anyone for going and taking the money,” McIlroy added that he still took issue with those who “talked crap” and tried to “burn the place down on your way out.”

One of those players who drew McIlroy’s ire was Mickelson, one of the central figures in LIV becoming an existential threat to the Tour. The two stars have been embroiled in a public spat over the past two years, trading barbs on social media and in press conferences. After McIlroy missed the cut at last year’s Masters, Mickelson suggested that LIV’s limited schedule would be “perfect” for McIlroy but that no LIV team would want him because “they’d have to deal with all his bs.” McIlroy fired back last summer, after accusations that Mickelson wagered on the 2012 Ryder Cup: “At least he can bet on the Ryder Cup this year, because he won’t be a part of it.”

But now, they could be headed toward an unlikely truce, with the Tour working to extend its negotiating window with the Saudi Public Investment Fund. In the podcast appearance, McIlroy said that he’d welcome an alliance with the PIF and the reunification of elite men’s golf.

“This quote and the many others made today by Rory probably weren’t easy to say,” Mickelson said in response to this tweet. “Let’s not use this as an opportunity to pile on. Rather, it’s time for me and others to let go of our hostilities and work toward a positive future.”

Mickelson tweeted that Rahm’s LIV signing last month should prove to be a game-changer in golf’s ongoing civil war. McIlroy said Wednesday that Rahm’s nine-figure deal was a “smart business move” and stated previously that the European Ryder Cup team will have no choice but to alter its qualification criteria so that the Spaniard can play at Bethpage in 2025.

“Rahms’ (sic) signing is turning into a bridge to bring both sides together, as evidenced by the many comments today and a month ago about changing the rules for the Ryder Cup so Jon and others can play, so let’s use it as such,” Mickelson tweeted. “Until an agreement is reached it will business as usual for both sides but hopefully without the needless disdain.”

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